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US: Chavez warning ‘anti-Yankee rhetoric’

Posted by smeddum on August 15, 2009

US: Chavez warning ‘anti-Yankee rhetoric’

Fri, 14 Aug 2009


A top US military official defends a deal to use seven Colombia bases.
Amid regional concern about US bases in Colombia, a top US military official rejects Venezuelan president’s warnings over the mission as ‘typical anti-Yankee rhetoric.’

Hugo Chavez said earlier that Washington is planning to use its bases in Colombia to destabilize the region after he found out about the ongoing talks over the lease of seven military bases in Colombia by the US.

The Venezuelan leader warned that the “winds of war” were beginning to blow in the region because of the accord between Colombia and the US.

US officials say American troops will continue to be involved in helping Colombia in counter-drug operations and in supporting its fight against leftist rebels.

Deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Western Hemisphere Frank Mora said the deal would not change US missions in Colombia nor increase the allowed number of troops.

“It does not envision any larger military presence,” Mora told AP on Thursday. “It formalizes what we’re already doing.”

Mora added that negotiations to give the US access to the bases for 10 years are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

Despite Washington’s efforts to calm the region, tensions have been running high between Colombia and other Latin states, over the US-Colombia military deal which places fully-armed US soldiers with military equipment in South America.

A number of Latin American states, such as Brazil, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Bolivia have backed Chavez’s bid to halt ‘all’ business transactions with its neighbor.

South American leaders accuse the US of using the war on drugs in Colombia as a pretext to boost its regional military presence.

Brazil criticized the US plan and said that “foreign bases in the region look like relics of the Cold War.”


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