Venezuela’s Chavez Breaks Diplomatic Ties With Colombia

July 23, 2010 04:56

Pretending to be indignant over Colombia’s discovery of 28 FARC terrorist camps in Venezuela, and disappointed that his pick lost the Colombian election, Chavez childishly severs diplomatic ties with Colombia.

VOA News

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has severed diplomatic relations with neighboring Colombia after Bogota accused his country of harboring leftist guerrillas.

President Chavez made the announcement on national television Thursday, saying he was forced to sever all relations because Colombia claims he has failed to act against rebels who allegedly have taken shelter in Venezuelan territory.  Mr. Chavez said he has ordered Venezuelan military forces to be on “maximum alert” along the border.

President Chavez acted after Colombia went before the Organization of American States’ permanent council in Washington to present photographs, maps, coordinates and videos it said show 1,500 leftist rebels hiding in Venezuela.

Colombia’s ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, said the documents show what he called “the consolidated, active and growing presence of these terrorist bands” in Venezuela.

Hoyos said Venezuela had not attacked the guerrilla groups as it should.  He challenged Venezuelan officials to let independent observers inspect the sites where he said Colombian rebels were taking shelter.

Venezuela’s OAS envoy, Roy Chaderton, said the documents that Hoyos presented did not provide any solid evidence of a guerrilla presence in Venezuela.

Later, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro announced that the Chavez government had ordered its embassy in Bogota closed and had given Colombian diplomats in Venezuela 72 hours to leave the country.


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