“Colombia has never thought of attacking the brother people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as the president of that country has said, in a clear political trick on his own nation,” the Colombian president’s office stated in a press release.
The statement went on to stress that Colombia had used the channels of international law to try to make the Venezuelan government comply with “its obligation to not harbor Colombian terrorists.”
In comments made Friday in a telephone call to VTV, the Venezuelan state broadcaster, Chavez claimed that a Colombian helicopter had violated his country’s airspace. He alleged that the incursion into the western Venezuelan state of Tachira occured Thursday and lasted five minutes.
The head of state said the actions of the outgoing administration of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe constitute a “threat of war against our sovereignty, our people and against the revolution.”
“We have deployed units of the military, of the air force, of the infantry – but in silence because we don’t want to disturb the people,” Chavez said.
In the interview Chavez rejected Bogota’s allegations that Colombian rebels were hiding in the Venezuelan jungle. The only things to be found in one of the areas identified by the Colombian government was “a stone” and “an old house,” he joked.
Chavez said that Venezuela “didn’t want war” and suggested that there could be a direct dialogue between the two nations, if “President Santos doesn’t come in with the same attitude as President Uribe.”
Uribe will hand the presidency to Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos on August 7.