Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Wednesday denied an accusation by Venezuela that Colombia has a plan to bomb the socialist nation under the pretext of pursuing guerrilla groups onto Venezuelan soil.
Silva was responding to allegations by former Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel that Colombia plans to enter Venezuela under the guise of attacking a FARC camp.
Rangel told Venezuelan publication Correo del Orinoco that the attack would be similar to Colombia’s incursion onto Ecuadorean territory in March 2008, in which FARC leader ‘Raul Reyes’ was killed.
Rangel claimed that the alleged plan was an initiative of the Colombian-U.S. military agreement that allows the U.S. access to Colombian military bases. Venezuela views the pact as a threat to sovereignty in Latin America.
Silva told CM& that Colombia would never attack Venezuela.
“It’s not Colombia that has bought weapons. It’s not Colombia that has blown up bridges. We have always had a discourse of peace and not of agression,” Silva said.
Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela have been simmering since July, when Colombia announced its intent to sign the agreement with the U.S.
Relations became more strained in November when Chavez called on his nation to prepare for war, a statement he later retracted, saying he had been misinterpreted.
The situation remains tense following Venezuela’s alleged forced expulsion of Colombians working in an illegal Venezuelan gold mine.