Chávez protests Colombian plan to host US bases

Speaking at a military ceremony in Caracas July 21, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez accused neighboring Colombia of making an “unfriendly gesture” towards his country with its plan to open its territory to permanent US military bases. Accusing the US of attempting to foment a coup in Venezuela, while staging destabilization efforts on its borders in Colombia’s Guajira region, Chávez addressed Bogotá: “You are opening your house to an enemy of your neighbor.” (El Observador, Caracas, Prensa Latina, July 23)

The agreement would establish US military operations for at least ten years on five sites—at Palanquero, Cundinamarca; Apiay, Meta; Malambo, Atlántico; Cartagena, Bolivar; and Malaga Bay, Valle del Cauca. The Palanquero site has been named as a replacement for the US base at Manta, Ecuador, that expires this November. But the Bogotá weekly Cambio noted July 1: “Unlike the agreement for the US military presence in Manta, the agreement at its start does not limit its application to counternarcotics operations in the Pacific, but extends to the Caribbean, and also includes assistance in the fight against terrorism—that is, against the guerrillas.” (Colombia Peace Update, July)

See our last posts on Colombia and Venezuela.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.