Colombia contacted the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council to express concern over Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s order to his armed forces to prepare for war.
U.N. Security Council representative Thomas May-Harting confirmed that Colombia had informally contacted the U.N. and said he was sure Bogota will provide more information to the Council on the situation.
Chavez ordered his troops to prepare for war last Sunday following months of tension betwen Venezuela and Colombia. 15,000 Venezuelan troops are stationed on the border.
Local media reported Tuesday that Colombia also plans to send 12,000 troops to the border.
The border between Venezuela and Colombia has been a source of conflict for years, with Colombia accusing Venezuela of allowing guerrillas to enter Venezuela freely, and Venezuela accusing Colombia of sending paramilitaries to its territory to destabilize the country.
Relations between the two nations deteriorated further after Colombia and the U.S signed a military pact that grants the U.S. access to seven bases in Colombia.
Venezuela views the pact as a strategy hatched by Bogota and Washington to destabilize the socialist country and undermine its sovereignty.
U.S. Department of State spokesman Philip Crowley said Tuesday that his government doesn’t consider the Colombia-Venezuela tension to be a product of the military pact.
“We are fully aware of the recent tensions on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. I sincerely don’t believe that this has anything to do with the United States, but we encourage dialogue between Venezuela and Colombia,” the spokesman said Tuesday.