Colombia has cast overboard prosperous and longtime relationships with Venezuela to seek a free trade agreement with the U.S., Venezuela’s foreign minister said Sunday on national television.
According to Maduro the Colombian government is willing to do whatever in order to get the FTA with the U.S. approved in Washington, even to despise its US$ 7 billion exports to Venezuela and accept U.S. control over its military bases.
Colombian government ‘despised and cast overboard that relationship. They denied for almost a year that they had plans to open U.S. military bases in Colombia. That was the first rupture, the first blow to Venezuela’. Maduro said referring to Colombia’s plans to sign an agreement with the U.S. to allow U.S. military personnel in seven Colombian air bases.
The Colombia government says that the U.S. personnel in Colombian air bases will carry out antinarcotics and counterterrorism operations on Colombian soil. Venezuela, on the other hand, claims that the U.S. personnel in Colombian territory will conduct intelligence and counterintelligence operations against Venezuela and its allies in the region.
Colombia and Venezuela froze relations when Colombia announced in July that it was considering the possibility to open some of its airbases to U.S. military personnel.