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Venezuela: U.S. has militarized relations with Latin America
www.chinaview.cn 2006-03-16 09:56:36

    CARACAS, March 15 (Xinhuanet) -- The Venezuelan government said on Wednesday that U.S. Latin America policy has been militarized, responding to a U.S. army statement which described Venezuela as "a destabilizing influence" on the region.

    The remarks, made by Bantz Craddock, chief of the U.S. Southern Command, "constitute one more sign of the militarization of U.S. government policy towards Latin America as a whole and towards Venezuela in particular," Jose Vicente Rangel, the country's vice-president, told reporters on Wednesday.

    "These U.S. commentators are not White House officials, or State Department officials, but from the Defense Department, and from the intelligence services," Rangel added.

    He said that it was worrisome that such people, who should be concerned about the grave situation in Iraq and other such nations,were now focusing on Latin America.

    Rangel described them as "layabouts," adding that U.S. military involvement confirmed what Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had said about the permanent threat of U.S. aggression against the country.

    Relations between Venezuela and the United States turned sour seven years ago, when Chavez took power and began accusing Washington of attempting to invade and destabilize Venezuela.

    The United States has repeatedly denied such accusations, and the U.S. ambassador in Caracas has said that the U.S. top officials would like to talk to their Venezuelan counterparts to improve bilateral relations. Enditem

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