The U.S. government praised Colombia for its “restrained response” to verbal attacks from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and reiterated its willingness to mediate the strained tensions between the neighbor countries.
U.S. Department of State spokesperson Charles Luoma-Overstreet was responding to a comment by a prominent Colombian businessman that it was “notoriously strange” that U.S. government has so far declined to enter the latest diplomatic fray with neighboring Venezuela.
Relation between Colombia and Venezuela deteriorated rapidly after Colombia announced a new military pact with the U.S., allowing the Americans to use military bases and civilian airports for antiterrorism and counternarcotics operations.
Venezuela views the military pact as an imperialistic attempt by the U.S. to undermine sovereignty in Latin America. Following the signing of the pact Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered his nation to “prepare for war”.
Chavez has since softened his rhetoric, claiming that the media had manipulated his words and that “Venezuela’s military is pacifist.”
“We support dialogue as means to overcoming the recent tensions,” said Luoma-Overstreet.
The spokesperson said that the U.S. “does not have aggressive intentions towards Venezuela or any other country,” but instead “seeks peace and prosperity through dialogue.”
Luoma-Overstreet said the U.S. was “concerned over Venezuela’s rhetoric commentary” and that it is “in the interest of all the countries in the continent to promote stability and peaceful resolution through dialogue”.
Venezuela will respond to Colombia’s complaint over ‘threats of war’ before the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday.