Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Tuesday accused Colombia of aiding the U.S. to commit “electronic warfare”, by allowing a North Amercian military aircraft to take off from a Colombian base, and fly over the border between the neighboring Andean nations, reports Terra.
Chavez alleged that Venezuelan intelligence detected a conversation between a U.S. pilot and air controllers in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal town of Barranquilla. Chavez claimed that those aboard the plane were committing espionage.
“It was a plane specialized in electronice warfare, and it was undertaking operations of electronic warfare,” the socialist president said.
Chavez also accused the Colombian government of allowing the U.S. to use Colombian territory, in order to prepare for “an agression” against Venezuela.
Robin Holzhauer, spokesman for the U.S embassy in Colombia, did not respond directly to Chavez’s accusations, but commented that the U.S. and Colombia participate in bilateral activities but with “respect for the sovereignty of other nations.”
Chavez’s accusations are the latest in a long string of verbal attacks between the two nations. Relations between Venezuela and Colombia have been rocky for years, but frictions have worsened in recent months over Colombia’s agreement to give the U.S. increased access to its military bases – a deal that Chavez calls a threat to Venezuelan sovereignty, and to the region.
Ten Colombians were detained in Venezuela on charges of espionage earlier this month. Uribe claims they were being persecuted because of their nationality.