Venezuelan soldiers, shown in 2008, watch over a military helicopter about 50 miles from the Colombian border.
Tensions are running high, and relations running low, between Colombia and Venezuela. The latter’s president, Hugo Chavez, told his generals to prepare for war, while the Colombian government announced a new base on the countries’ border and activated six air battalions. —JCL
[President Hugo Chavez] moved 15,000 more troops up to the border, accusing Colombia and its ally, the US, of planning an attack.
[...] Colombian Defence Minister Gabriel Silva announced the formation of a new base in La Guajira in the north, near the Venezuelan border.
At the same time, the Colombian army activated the new airborne battalions, which are equipped with US helicopters.
The helicopter fleet, made up mainly of Blackhawks, now numbers 120, making the Colombian Army Air Corps the best equipped and most experienced in Latin America, the BBC’s Jeremy McDermott in Colombia says.