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World Briefing

Venezuela

Chavez tells army to be on alert

November 09, 2009|Times Wire Reports

President Hugo Chavez ordered Venezuela's military to prepare for a possible conflict with Colombia, saying soldiers should be ready if the U.S. attempts to provoke a war between the South American neighbors.

Chavez warned that if a war broke out "it could extend through the whole continent."

"The best way to avoid war is preparing for it," Chavez told military officers during his weekly television and radio program. Venezuela's socialist leader has also cited a recent deal that gives U.S. troops greater access to Colombian military bases as a threat to regional stability.

There was no immediate reaction from either the Colombian or U.S. government. They have repeatedly denied any intentions to start a war.

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