Chavez says US bases in Colombia will be used for spying on Venezuela
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez has renewed his criticism of the US-Colombia military pact, accusing Washington of using its bases there for spying.
On Sunday, Chavez once again slammed a recently signed defense accord between Washington and Bogota, which would give the US access to military bases in Colombia.
Washington and Bogota claim that their defense agreement is aimed at regional narcoterrorism.
However the Venezuelan leader dismissed the allegations, saying that according to recently produced documents, the military bases would be used for espionage purposes, allowing US troops there to launch a military offensive against Venezuela.
Chavez also stressed that he would not accept international mediation to ease tensions between Venezuela and Colombia.
His comments come two days after Chavez ordered his military to prepare for possible war with Colombia in case Washington attempted to provoke one.
Under the US-Colombia pact signed in late October, a maximum of 800 US military personnel and 600 contractors are to be deployed in Colombia. Prior to the deal, there were anywhere from 71 to 210 US military officers in the country.
Most Latin American states view the US military presence in Colombia as a direct threat to peace and stability in the region.