Venezuela withdraws ambassador to Colombia and freezes trade

CARACAS, July 28.— The Venezuelan government today ordered the withdrawal of its ambassador in Colombia and began the process of freezing economic relations, after being accused of delivering weapons to guerrilla forces in the neighboring country.

Hugo ChavezVenezuela’s decision followed accusations by the Colombian government regarding weapons Venezuela bought 20 years ago from Sweden and allegedly handed over to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

At a televised meeting of the Council of Ministers, President Hugo Chávez warned that if the Colombian government does not respect its neighbors, it is because it is not interested in having relations with them.

He noted that Colombian authorities decided to open up more to the United States and that U.S. troops have begun arriving at new bases in that country, which Chávez described as a threat to Venezuela.

The Venezuelan president accused the administration of President Alvaro Uribe of being irresponsible in government, submissive to the U.S. empire, and stated that economic relations with Colombia were not indispensable. (PL)

Translated by Granma International


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