CARACAS, VENEZUELA — President Hugo Chavez on Saturday announced the return of his ambassador to Colombia, but said Venezuela still intended to take a stand against negotiations to lease seven Colombian military bases to the U.S.
Chavez told Ambassador Gustavo Marquez to return to Bogota, the Colombian capital, 11 days after the diplomat was recalled. He also reiterated concerns that the U.S. could use bases in Colombia to destabilize the region.
"We're not telling Colombia what it has to do with its territory," Chavez said from Caracas, the Venezuelan capital, in an interview with Colombia's RCN television. "But we have the right to warn, and that's what we're doing."
Colombian officials have said Venezuela has no reason to be concerned, and that the U.S. forces would help fight drug trafficking.