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Venezuela breaks off diplomatic ties with Colombia

07-23-2010 08:47 BJT

CARACAS, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Thursday that his country breaks off the diplomatic relations with Colombia.

"For dignity we do not have other option but to sever diplomatic ties with Colombia," Chavez said after Colombia presented to the Organization of American States (OAS) the accusations about the alleged presence of Colombian guerrilla chiefs in Venezuelan territory.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks during meeting with Argentine soccer coach and former player Diego Maradona (not pictured) at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas, capital of Venezuela, July 22, 2010. Chavez on Thursday announced his country broke off the diplomatic relations with Colombia. "For dignity we do not have other option but to sever diplomatic ties with Colombia," Chavez said after Colombia presented to the Organization of American States (OAS) the accusations about the alleged presence of Colombian guerrilla chiefs in Venezuelan territory. Chavez made the announcement when he met with Maradona at the Miraflores Palace.(Xinhua)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks during meeting with Argentine soccer coach 
and former player Diego Maradona (not pictured) at the Miraflores Palace in Caracas,
capital of Venezuela, July 22, 2010. Chavez on Thursday announced his country broke 
off the diplomatic relations with Colombia. "For dignity we do not have other option
but to sever diplomatic ties with Colombia," Chavez said after Colombia presented 
to the Organization of American States (OAS) the accusations about the alleged 
presence of Colombian guerrilla chiefs in Venezuelan territory. Chavez made the 
announcement when he met with Maradona at the Miraflores Palace.(Xinhua)

At the moment of the announcement, Chavez had a meeting with Argentine soccer coach and former player Diego Maradona, at the Miraflores Palace, headquarters of the Venezuelan government.

With this measure, it was fulfilled the announcement made by Chavez on July 16 about severing ties with Colombia.

Chavez regretted the measure due to the historical ties between the two countries, as they share a border line of 2,120 kilometers.

"We will be on alert, I have ordered maximum alert in our border," Chavez said. He added that Colombia is obeying the United States and warned about the risk that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe goes for launching a military raid at the border.

Chavez added that Uribe is able to do anything to promote a conflict against Venezuela.

"Uribe is a threat for peace. He is even able to establish a faked camp in our territory and raid it to start a war," Chavez said.

On Thursday, Colombia presented to the OAS, during an extraordinary meeting of the Permanent Council, "proofs" of the presence of Colombian guerrilla chiefs in Venezuelan territory.

Colombia accused Venezuela of "allowing the presence of Colombian guerrillas in its territory," and urged the international community to form a commission to verify the presence of guerrillas in Venezuela in no more than 30 days.

Colombian ambassador to the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos said that Venezuela has not done anything against the "1,500 Colombian guerrillas" operating there.

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