The Venezuelan military announced Wednesday it is attempting to locate six “illegally” erected bridges crossing the Colombia-Venezuela border with the intention of disabling them.
General Eusebio Aguero said that Venezuelan authorities are investigating reports concerning the alleged existence of six illegally erected footbridges crossing the border. Aguero indicated that should these bridges be discovered, Venezuela is within its rights to destroy them.
“We will not allow misdeeds to be committed through the use of these illegal bridges established by individuals intent on smuggling fuel, food and trafficking drugs. The Colombian government knows we are within our right to disable all those bridges,” declared the general in a report by El Universal.
Aguero’s announcement came a week after a group of Venezuelan soldiers blew up two more border-crossing footbridges in the Colombian frontier state of Tachira.
Colombia and Venezuela have had strained diplomatic relations since July as Venezuela objects to a Colombian agreement with the U.S. allowing the Americans to use military bases and civilian airports in Colombia for counternarcotics and counterterrorism missions.
The border region has long been a reason for tensions between the countries as Venezuela accuses Colombia of allowing right-wing paramilitary fighters to enter Venezuelan territory, while Colombia says the border is often crossed by left-wing guerrillas seeking refuge in the neighbouring country.