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Chavez Ready to Discuss Dispute with Colombia


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is prepared to meet with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to defuse tensions over the seizure of a top Colombian rebel leader in Venezuela last month.

Mr. Chavez spoke Sunday, a day after Mr. Uribe offered to discuss the issue with him. There has been no announcement from either side about whether such a meeting will take place.

Mr. Chavez accuses neighboring Colombia of paying bounty hunters to catch Rodrigo Granda, a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Venezuela froze trade relations with Colombia Friday, and Mr. Chavez said they would remain suspended until Colombia apologizes.

Mr. Chavez also said Sunday the United States is trying to divide South America by supporting Colombia in the dispute.

Some information provided by AP and Reuters.

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