CARACAS, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Venezuelans rallied on Sunday in some border areas with Colombia in a show of support for their government's decision to break off diplomatic ties with Bogota.
In a rally held in an international bridge in the state of Tachira bordering Colombia, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said President Hugo Chavez's government is one of unity, respect and dignity.
Maduro said when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe took office in 2002, two-way trade was about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. The number jumped to 8 billion dollars in 2009.
However, things turned sour as Uribe's administration began to host U.S. military bases in the country's territory, which was posing a threat to South America, Maduro said.
In Zulia, another state bordering Colombia, Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua appealed for strengthening ties between the two countries to defend themselves from the aggressors.
In Caracas and Anzoategui, hundreds of Chavez's followers shouted their support for the president.
Chavez broke off diplomatic ties with Colombia on Thursday, after Colombia accused him of harboring Colombian guerilla chiefs in his territory.
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