Chavez freezes ties with Colombia
Venezuela is withdrawing its ambassador from neighbouring Colombia and freezing relations, following a dispute over weapons supplied to Colombian rebels. President Hugo Chavez, who announced the move on Venezuelan TV, also said he was halting trade deals with Colombia.
The announcement came a day after the Colombia government said weapons bought by Venezuela from Sweden had made their way to left-wing Farc guerrillas. Mr Chavez denied this and accused Colombia of acting "irresponsibly". "I've ordered to withdraw our ambassador from Bogota," the Venezuelan leader said on Tuesday. "We will freeze relations with Colombia," he added.
As well as a diplomatic freeze, Mr Chavez warned trade relations would also be frozen. Venezuela, he said, would substitute imports from Colombia - which currently account for about a third of the country's trade - with goods from other countries, notably Brazil and Ecuador.
On Monday, the Colombian government said its troops had recovered Swedish anti-tank weapons in a raid on a Farc camp. The Caracas government denied supplying them. The Swedish authorities have launched an inquiry into how the Farc had acquired the weapons.
The Marxist rebels have been fighting the Bogota government since the 1960s.
The BBC's Will Grant in Caracas said the dispute between the two neighbours comes as Colombia prepares to allow the US to use four military bases on its soil, a move which has angered Venezuela. Mr Chavez says it is part of an effort by Washington to turn Colombia into the "Israel of Latin America" (oh no you didn't).
There's actually a polemic involving this video, Ecuador and Sweden. But good to see Chávez is being as mature as always. And Poor Uribe, nobody looves him, nobody neeeds him.