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Venezuelan Vice President Denounces New Manipulation of Colombian Government

The Colombian government is manipulating public opinion by stating that it will denounce Venezuela before international organizations for blowing up border bridges used for smuggling, drug trafficking and paramilitary activities, said Venezuelan Executive Vice-President, Ramón Carrizales.

“We are witnesses of a new provocation, another manipulation of the Colombian government, because they are talking about border bridges, international bridges, as if they [the ones that were destroyed] were legal,” said the vice president, in response to the statements made by the Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva Lujan.

Silva said yesterday that “Officers in uniform arrived to the Venezuelan side, apparently of the Venezuelan Army, located two pedestrian crossings linking communities of both sides –civilian bridges built by communities itself, and they blasted them in the Venezuelan side to affect the normal life of civilian population.”

In a telephone conversation with the state-owned VTV channel, Carrizalez cleared up that “the border crossings have to be convened by both governments, with the presence of both states, with customs and the rest of the regular inspection points. However, when we find improvised crossings in non-convened places or any other kind of construction used for smuggling and drug trafficking, we are obliged to exercise our sovereignty.

“We have never passed to the Colombian territory or attacked that country as they are pretending. They want to qualify us as the aggressors to generate a media campaign, in which they would be seen as victims, trying to hide the reality of a Colombia that has been transformed into a great Yankee military base putting in risk the stability of all the South American countries,” said the Vice-President.

Carrizalez reminded that the government of Colombia “kidnapped a Colombian citizen in Venezuela and took him by force back to his country; we must also remember the incursion into Ecuadorian territory; the complicity with which the Colombian government allowed drugs to enter our country; and the paramilitary activities supported by the Colombian government that has passed to the Venezuela.”

The bridges were clandestine crossings or shortcuts used for smuggling, drug trafficking and paramilitary activities. They were located over the Táchira River (Venezuela) border with the Department of Norte de Santander (Colombia).

Bolivarian News Agency/Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the U.S. Press and communications Office/November 20, 2009

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