Colombia’s House of Representatives plans to hold a closed session on Tuesday to debate the possibility of war with neighboring country Venezuela and Colombia’s ability to defend itself in a possible attack.
The debate was called by coalition lawmakers who want the country’s ministers of defense, foreign relations and trade to attend the session, Caracol Radio reported Tuesday. None of the ministers has either confirmed or denied that they will be present.
In the closed session the lawmakers want to hear from Defense Minister Gabriel Silva what the probability is that Venezuela attacks Colombian soil following President Hugo Chavez’s calls to Venezuelan soldiers and civilians to prepare for war and the recent destruction of cross-border footbridges by the Venezuelan armed forces.
The lawmakers also want to know if the Colombian army is able to deter a Venezuelan attack and what precautions are taken to protect the country’s airports, seaports and oil refineries.
According to the radio station’s report, Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez will have to clarify what he is doing to show that the “Hugo Chavez’s regime is an authoritarian and dangerous government” and what the government plans to do to counter Chavez’s “insults, threats and hostile commercial actions.”
Of Trade Minister Luis Huillermo Plata the lawmakers want to know if Venezuela’s restriction on Colombian imports fit within the regulations of the World Trade Organization and what the possibilities are of finding alternative export markets.