Chavez: Colombia plans ‘aggression’

President Hugo Chavez on Friday accused neighboring Colombia and the United States of plotting a military “aggression” against Venezuela.

“I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela,” Chavez said.

“A military aggression is being prepared from Colombia against Venezuela,” Chavez said, linking the U.S. to the alleged plot. He claimed that Washington aims to “oblige us to respond, and later a war could be set off.”

He cited intelligence reports but did not offer evidence to support his claim.

Venezuela and Colombia have been locked in a diplomatic crisis since November, when Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ended Chavez’s mediation role with Colombia’s leftist rebels in seeking a hostages-for-prisoners swap.

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