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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has severed all diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia, after Bogota accused Caracas of harboring rebels.
Caracas has ordered Colombian diplomats to leave the country and close their embassy within 72 hours.
Chavez also said he has ordered Venezuelan military forces to be on "maximum alert" along the border.
Threat of war because of oil deposits
To Venezuela and Nicaragua, has threatened a military conflict with Colombia. If Colombia in a sea area, which both countries claim as their own, given rights for oil drilling, the army could be used, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega said in Managua. It should be clear that "we have an army that is ready to defend the sovereignty threatened by Colombia's expansionist policy" of the country, "added the left-wing President.
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez says his country will cease oil supplies to the United States if a military confrontation breaks out between Venezuela and Colombia.
"If there was any armed aggression against Venezuela from Colombian territory or from anywhere else, promoted by the Yankee empire, we would suspend oil shipments to the United States even if we have to eat stones here," he said on Sunday.
Venezuela has blown up two pedestrian bridges on its border with Colombia in the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the Andean neighbours.
Soldiers destroyed the walkways because they were being used by illegal militia and drug traffickers, said Eusebio Aguero, an army general based in the border state of Táchira.
"They are two foot bridges that paramilitary fighters used, where gasoline and drug precursors were smuggled, subversive groups entered. They are not considered in any international treaty."
However Colombia denounced the action as a violation of international law that would worsen the diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
The identity of the pilot of the American-registered DC-9 (N900SA) from St. Petersburg FL caught carrying 5.5 tons of coc aine in Mexico's Yucatan several years ago, long a mystery, finally saw the light of day recently in Mexico.
Carmelo Vasquez Guerra, a Venezuelan, was the DC9’s pilot who was said to have “escaped” from the airport while his airplane was being seized, and four other members of his crew were arrested.
He was later taken into custody by Mexican authorities, and charged with flying an airplane packed with 128 identical suitcases filled with coc aine.
May 10th 2009 UTILA
Again, Utila has come to the center on the War on Drugs with another Venezuelan aircraft busted with 1500 kilos of coc aine, but this time there was a different ending.
Starting at 9:30pm the evening before, Utilian residents heard and saw aircraft circling the island. One plane, a twin engine Jetstream 30 with its lights off, the other, a large U.S military aircraft with lights on. The Military plane circled steadly around the island and, the other, like a shadow in the moonlight, circled franticaly looking for a place to land. All the while the Saturday night crowds at Utila's local bars stared upwards watching the ill fated plane swooping desperatly for a way out of its trap.
It was not ment to be. Sometime around 3:00 am, the narco plane, running out of fuel attempted to land. Its flight path took the plane into the dense jungle and jagged cliffs just north of the airport. The plane sliced into the tree caonpy cutting large trees in two. At impact, the fusilage broke behind the cockpit split in two.
All three crew members were Columbian. The pilot was killed and the two crew members were wounded .