Venezuela mobilised its troops last night and conjured up two alleged Colombian spies in the latest bout of muscle-flexing before the arrival of US drug-fighting troops in the region.
In an announcement during a televised Cabinet meeting, President Chávez accused Colombia of dispatching spies at the behest of the CIA in preparation for an invasion. Colombia denied the charge and hit back by saying that Venezuela was infested with drug traffickers.
Mr Chávez, a socialist who has antagonized the US by seeking to nationalize foreign-owned companies, said that two members of the Colombian intelligence agency DAS had been arrested for trying to bribe Venezuelan officials for information on military operations.
Behind the espionage lay “the hand of the CIA and the Government of the United States”, Mr Chávez said. “They were captured red-handed, practicing espionage and it’s not the first time. We will not release them.”More...