Venezuela constructed a fence across the ‘peace base’ near the Colombian border and swathed it in an aggressive anti-American banner, in protest of the U.S. military bases pact.
“We swear there will be a war to the death if the Yankee empire desecrates the sacred soil of the land of Bolivar. Gringos: We’re waiting for you here,” is written in large black and red letters on the fence installed by Venezuela on the Base of Peace, just one kilometer from the Colombian border at Arauca. The less-than-welcoming message is accompanied by gun-waving figures in silhouette.
Although Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez announced that the Bases of Peace will be locations for reflection and, according to him, a counterbalance the U.S. military presence in Colombia, the Colombian president of the Assembly of Arauca, Juan Carlos Santamaría, considers them to be warmongering bases that threaten the Colombian people.
“We are very concerned because this is war territory where a line has been drawn, putting out an image of people with guns and weapons to defend the territory. [Chavez says one thing, but what has been installed is something else],” Santamaria said.
The governor of the Apure region of Colombia which borders Venezuela, Jesus Aguilarte, said that these bases of peace are [supposed to be] an instrument in the struggle for coexistence, integration and respect for the sovereignty of peoples, that reject violence, the use of weapons and aggression, newspaper El Tiempo reported.
Venezuela’s banner makes their stance clear.