Venezuela will not renew an agreement with Colombia about the monthly
delivery of 11,000 barrels of cheap gasoline to the north of Colombia.
“We see no reason to renew the agreement that ended yesterday,” Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez told the press.
“We are not going to continue subsidizing the Colombian economy when they are taking decisions that are extremely unfriendly towards our people and our country,” Ramirez added.
Caracas rejects plans of its neighbor country to allow the United
States to conduct counternarcotics and counterterrorism operations from
Colombian military bases. Venezuela sees this agreement as a threat.
“You can not argue that this is a matter of Colombian sovereignty because its consequences cross borders and become a danger and a threat to our country, Ecuador and other South American countries,” the Minister explained.
Ramirez warned that border authorities would be increasing efforts to stop illegal smuggling of cheap venezuelan oil to Colombia.
“We have a team of 120 new inspectors who will be working nationwide
together with the military to enforce more stringent controls on fuel
smuggling,” the Minister said.
In a reaction to the U.S.-Colombian military plan, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier threatened to completely shut down trade with Colombia and freeze diplomatic ties. After talks with Colombian opposition personalities, Chavez revoked his decision to withdraw his ambassador from Bogota.