hugo chavez.jpgVenezuela has broken off diplomatic relations with Colombia and ordered Colombian diplomats to leave the country by 25 July.

 

President Hugo Chavez said he had no choice after Colombia accused Venezuela of harbouring guerrillas, a charge Colombia denies.

 

 Announcing the decision, Chavez said that he was acting out of dignity as he also ordered the military to be on maximum alert on Venezuela’s border with Colombia.

 

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said the government was also considering suspending flights and cutting commercial ties with Colombia.

 

President Chavez made his announcement shortly after a meeting of the Organisation of American States in Washington where Colombia presented videos, maps and photos to back up its claims that Marxist Farc and ELN rebels have bases in Venezuela.

 

Diplomatic analysts have said that with Colombia trying to prove that Venezuelan officials are working alongside rebel groups, relations between the two countries will not be cordial anytime soon.

 

However, Juan Manuel Santos who will take over the Colombian presidency in two weeks time has promised to try and remedy the situation.