Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, shown here in a stock photo, told Colombian officials they had 72 hours to leave his country.
With a “tear in the heart,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced that his government has broken all relations with Latin neighbor Colombia following a tiff in which the Colombian state accused Venezuela of harboring leftist guerrillas.
The guerrillas belong to FARC, which has been at war in one way or another with the Colombian government since 1964. —JCL
Venezuela has broken off diplomatic relations with Colombia after Bogota charged that leftist guerrillas it is fighting are holed up in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, has said.
“I announce with a tear in the heart: Venezuela breaks off from this moment all relations with the government of Colombia,” Chavez told journalists at the presidential palace on Thursday.
“We have no other choice but, out of dignity, to totally break our relations with our brother nation of Colombia,” the president said live on state television, as he hosted a visit by Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona.