Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Monday that despite his rebuilding of ties with Colombia, the U.S. could still destabilize the region by provoking a border incident.
In an interview with state network Venezolana de Television, Chavez again stated his concern over the Colombian pact which grants the U.S. access to seven military bases in Colombia, but said the issue will be raised in a private dialogue with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Nonetheless, Chavez added that “those seven military bases in Colombia are a real threat … there is a danger at every hour of the day. I have direct communication with the captains that are stationed at the border.”
Chavez said he had made it clear at a recent summit of regional body UNASUR that while every nation was free to have treaties with other nations, such pacts should not compromise the security of surrounding countries.
The Venezuelan leader said that he had stressed Venezuela’s willingness to normalize and strengthen ties with Colombia during a meeting with Colombia’s Congress President Armando Benedetti.
Chavez met with Santos in the Colombian port of Santa Marta on July 10, and agreed to re-establish ties broken by Venezuela in July after Colombian allegations that the socialist nation was harboring guerrillas.
Chavez said that he hoped that the positive outcome of the Santa Marta summit would not just be “a honeymoon that lasts only a day.”
Colombia’s Constitutional Court is expected to hand down a ruling Tuesday on whether the military bases pact with the U.S. is constitutional.
In late July Judge Jorge Ivan Palacio, who was delegated by the Constitutional Court to study the agreement’s constitutionality, released a report saying that the controversial pact is unconstitutional and needs to be reviewed.