On Sunday, Venezuela’s former vice president accused the country’s opposition of buying 18 war planes, which he claims will soon be taken to a US military base in Colombia.
During his weekly television show, Jose Vicente Rangel, who is the former defense secretary and foreign minister to Hugo Chavez, made the allegations that Venezuela’s opposition have bought 18 war planes in preparation for an attack against the nation.
“[The opposition] is preparing an armed attack on Venezuela with the participation of mercenaries,” Rangel declared.
According to the ex-vice president, the Venezuelan opposition closed the deal on May 27th in San Antonio, Texas. Rangel claimed the planes will be transferred to the base in Colombia by November and even disclosed the coordinates of the location of the military base.
Rangel specified the coordinates of the airbase, which correspond to a river bank a mile off the Venezuelan border.
The politician did not name his source, but urged the authorities to investigate the “serious” claims.
“Could the security agencies check this information that I do not hesitate to call extremely serious and collect information from the American and Colombian authorities?” Rangel asked his viewers.
Alleged location of the US airbase
In an initial response, Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzon suggested via Twitter that Colombia ask the United Nations to verify Venezuela’s claims.
“In light of the allegations made by José V. Rangel in Venezuela, I think the best thing Colombia can do is request verification from the UN,” Garzon posted.
Frente a las denuncias deJosé V Rangel en Venezuela creo que lo mejor que puede hacer Colombia es solicitar la verificación de la ONU
— Angelino Garzón (@Angelino_Garzon) June 10, 2013
Tensions between Colombia and Venezuela have been building since Nicolas Maduro took over as President following the death of Hugo Chavez. Matters have worsened over the past few weeks after Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles in the presidential palace, which prompted harsh criticism and claims of an “anti-revolutionary conspiracy” from the Venezuelan government.