CARACAS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Venezuelan government on Thursday accused Colombia of putting South America's peace and stability at risk by allowing the United States to establish military bases in its territory.
The accusation may further raise tensions between the two countries, after Colombia alleged earlier this week that Caracas had supplied weapons to Colombian rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
"Venezuela expresses its indignation due to the irresponsibility of the Colombian government of destroying the efforts made to build a bi-national tie of mutual benefit for both people, putting at risk the peace and stability of the region," the Venezuelan foreign ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said Colombia sought to justify the establishment of five U.S. military bases in its territory by making false accusations of weapon supply from Caracas to the Colombian guerilla.
It said Colombia demanded Venezuela to explain the origin of the weapons, without explaining how the guerilla in its country was armed.
"Why does not (Colombia) demand the U.S. or Israel to explain how thousands of weapons made in those countries go to the hands of the guerilla inside Colombia?" the ministry asked.
It said Colombia had become "a continue danger for the entire region," and called on its neighbor to drop the "warmonger" policy.
Sources from the Colombian foreign ministry told Xinhua earlier that the cooperation with the United States on military bases was still under negotiation. There will not be new establishment of bases, but only joint use of existing ones aimed at strengthening anti-drug operations in the region, the source said.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Tuesday announced his government's decision to sever diplomatic and commercial ties with Colombia.
He ordered the withdrawal of all diplomatic staff in Colombia and added that economic and diplomatic ties with Colombia were frozen.
Chavez said the measure was an answer to the "irresponsible declarations" made by the Colombian government accusing Venezuela of selling weapons to the FARC.
The Venezuelan leader also threatened to halt all trade agreements with the Colombian government "if there's one more accusation against Venezuela."
Bogota said a batch of Swedish-made weapons bought by Venezuela during the 1980s had ended up in the hands of the FARC, which has been fighting the Colombian government for more than four decades.