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Chavez: Colombian Defense Minister An Obstacle to Peace


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has denounced Colombia's defense minister as an obstacle to peace and a pawn of the United States.

Mr. Chavez reacted sharply Sunday to the defense minister's remarks about a meeting between Mr. Chavez and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

The two presidents met Friday to try to mend ties between their countries.

After the meeting, Colombian Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said he hoped Venezuela would follow through with promises made during the meeting.

During a televised speech Sunday, Mr. Chavez called on President Uribe to put his defense minister in his place.

Tensions between the two countries rose in March when Colombia attacked a rebel camp in Ecuador. Venezuela responded by sending troops to the Colombian border.

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