The United States is trying to “generate a war” between Colombia and Venezuela, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday, days before his visit to the neighboring country.
“We have to guarantee peace, because the yankees have a plan to generate a war between Colombia and Venezuela,of course, to get rid of Chavez and then the intervention,” Chavez said in his weekly television broadcast “Alo President.”
According to the Venezuelan President, Washington is trying to generate violence in Venezuela that is facing presidential elections in 2012. Chavez will run for his third term as president of that country.
Venezuela and Colombia have had a years-long history of troubled bilateral relations since Chavez took office in 1999. After the election of current Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos the two countries have begun normalizing relations that were cut at the end of Santos’ predecessor Alvaro Uribe, who accused Chavez of aiding leftist Colombian guerrilla groups.
Chavez and Santos will meet Friday in the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena at the end Chavez’s mini-tour through South America that will also take him to Argentina, Uruguay and Bolivia.