Colombia’s armed forces are prepared to deter a possible foreign military attack, high military officials told worried senators in a secret meeting by the Senate’s fourth commission Wednesday evening.
According to Caracol Radio, the military officials reiterated that Colombia is not taking part in an regional arms race, but that it is applying the concept of a “persuasive defense.”
Coalition senator Charles Schultz (Partido de la U) told the radio station that Venezuela was on the Senate’s Wednesday agenda, but that he personally felt calm after hearing the military officials’ explanations.
“Colombia is aware that it must have some mechanisms of persuasive defense so that all nations understand that even while we do not take part in an arms race, we are aware that they have to respect us. This is a very professional army or armed force that will have the capacity to react when necessary,” the senator said.
“Let any nation in Latin America understand that we can defend ourselves. Colombia has the capacity to defend itself,” the senator said in a clear warning to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Chavez, a fierce opponent of a U.S.-Colombian plan to allow U.S. military access to Colombian military bases, repeatedly warned its armed forces to be ready for war as the leftist neighbor considers the presence of U.S. military on Colombian soil a threat to Venezuelan sovereignty.