Colombia’s Congress Tuesday called for a closed meeting with country’s government to find it if the country is prepared to defend itself if Venezuela starts a war, several media reported.
Congress wants to hear Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Lujan, Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez and Commerce Minister Luis Guillermo Plata. They were asked to meet on Wednesday to explain to the lawmakers if the army if able to deter a military attack and if strategic locations like oil refineries are protected.
House vice chairman Santiago Castro recommended the Government to increase available funds to be able to by arms.
According to coalition Senator Luis Guillermo Velez, Colombia is not able to defend itself agaisnt a possible Venezuelan attack and must upgrade its military arsenal.
The unrest in Congress follows last weekend’s announcement by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who had called on his country’s people and army to be prepared for war with Colombia and announced he was sending 15,000 troops to the border.
Venezuela denies intensions to attack Colombia and says it is preparing to defend itself in case of war with Colombia. “This is not about declaring war to Colombia, it is about defending our sovereignty,” the vice-president of Venezuela’s National Assembly told state television.
The relation between the two countries deteriorated rapidly after Colombia anounced a new military pact with the United States, allowing the Americans to use military bases and civilian airports for antiterrorism and counternarcotics operations.
The situation in the border region between the two countries saw in an increase of violence following the massacre of two groups of Colombians of territory and the assassination by two members of Venezuela’s Civil Guard by alleged paramilitaries.
The United States and Brazil on Tuesday called on the leaders of the two quarrelling nations to talk and find a diplomatic way out of the tense situation.