Venezuela deploys army on border

Fears of war as row over Colombia's raid on a rebel base in Ecuador escalates.

    Correa has called the Colombian president a 'liar'
    who wants war [EPA]
    He has warned that if the attack goes unpunished "the region will be in danger, because the next victim could be Peru, it could be Brazil, Venezuela, Bolivia, any one of our countries".
    Meanwhile the Organisation of American States (OAS) stopped short of condemning Colombia for crossing into Ecuador for the attack, but said that Colombia had violated international law.
    The OAS, whose earlier meetings on the situation had ended in deadlock, also agreed in a resolution to form a commission to visit Ecuador and Colombia to investigate the raid.
    Correa had asked the OAS to condemn Colombia for its actions and most Latin American leaders had supported him.
    'Sponsoring genocide'

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    For his part, Uribe has said he will ask the International Criminal Court to try his Venezuelan counterpart for "sponsoring and financing genocide" over alleged links to Farc.
    "Colombia is proposing that the International Criminal Court charge Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, for the support and financing of genocide," he said.

    Colombia says that documents found on Reyes after the attack indicate that Venezuela gave Farc $300m.

    Venezuela says Colombia is lying about the documents.

    Uribe has said he will not permit his nation to be drawn into open war and says Colombia has not deployed extra forces.
    "Colombia has never been a country to go to war with its neighbours," he said on Tuesday.
    Colombia has more than 250,000 soldiers, trained and equipped by the US, while Venezuela and Ecuador have about 172,000 active troops between them.

    Border deployment
    Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, says that the country's defence ministry hoped to have all its battalions, air support and tanks deployed in the three provinces sharing a border with Colombia by the end of Wednesday.
    However, she says a senior Venezuelan official told her that the move was only a defensive tactic and the main plan was to "strangle" Colombia economically by halting the vital cross-border trade between the two nations.
    People within Venezuela also remain highly concerned that relations with Colombia have sunk so low and are worried it could affect their livelihoods, she adds.
    Meanwhile Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo, currently in the Venezuelan town of La Fria close to the Colombian border, said people on both sides of the border were worried about what effect the tensions would have on the economy.

    "For example, Colombia sends a lot of food to the Venezuelan side, and at the same time many people import cheap gas from Venezuela," she said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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