the new york times

Venezuela Will Freeze Ties With Colombia, Chávez Says

Jul 29--Venezuela will withdraw its ambassador from Colombia and freeze relations with its Andean neighbor, President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday, following days of accusations over troop buildups and alleged arms supplies.

"I've ordered to withdraw our ambassador from Bogota, to withdraw our diplomatic personnel," the Venezuelan leader said in a televised meeting with his closest aides.

"We will freeze relations with Colombia," he added.

There was no immediate comment from the Colombian government.

The move raises fears of renewed tensions in the Andean region, which had been pushed to the brink of armed conflict when Venezuela moved troops to its border with Colombia after Bogota bombed a rebel camp in Ecuador in March 2008.

The announcement came a day after Colombia said weapons bought by Venezuela in Sweden had made their way to FARC rebels who have been fighting the Bogota government for more than four decades.

Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos said Monday his government is investigating how the anti-tank weapons found their way to FARC -- the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
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