Colombia says Chavez 'meddling'

Aug 27--Colombia has accused Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez of meddling in its internal affairs as tension rises between the two South American states.

27 de agosto de 2009

The accusation was made in a formal complaint lodged at the regional body, the Organisation of American States.

Ties have been strained over a planned deal to allow the US more access to Colombian military bases.

Latin American leaders are set to gather in Argentina on Friday to discuss the issue.

The Colombian government made its formal protest at the OAS after Mr Chavez described Colombia as a "narco-state" and ordered an investigation into Colombian companies operating in Venezuela.

Colombia also voiced anger at Mr Chavez's calls to his supporters to reach out to left-leaning Colombians in a bid to recreate Gran Colombia, a state that comprised both countries, Ecuador and Panama in the early 19th Century.

"Every state should have the regime it wants and the rest of the states should respect that condition," said Colombia's ambassador to the OAS Luis Hoyos, as he attacked what he called Mr Chavez's "interventionist" plan.
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