Are Colombia and Venezuela on the war path?

Things seem to be getting edgy in South America along the Colombia/Venezuela border. The BBC reports that 4 members of Venezuela’s national guard were detained by Colombian soldiers after they crossed the border. Even though they were released and sent back, this is still a bad sign. Last month Venezuela detained people who it claimed were Colombian spies. Earlier, Colombia made a deal granting the U.S. military access to its bases in order to help fight drug traffickers and the FARC guerillas. This prompted Chavez to urge his troops to be prepared for a war. This could be just sabre rattling on his part, but the presence of U.S. troops in any Latin American country, and for whatever reason, rightfully touches on a historical sore spot for many people in the area.

As is usually the case in the international realm when regional tensions arise, the talk comes to internal state sovereignty. With Colombia allowing the military of another country to operate inside its borders, to many on the Latin American left it has become little more than a proxy state for continuing U.S. presence in the region. Now with the news that armed men have been found crossing the borders between the two countries, its likely that claims of internal sovereignty will increase as both countries struggle to retain influence.

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