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Venezuela arrests 8 Colombians suspected of spying

7 April 2010 2:30

Venezuelan authorities say eight Colombians suspected of carrying out espionage activities on the country’s electricity system have been detained.

Venezuelan Minister of Interior and Justice Tarek El Aissami said on Tuesday that the detainees possessed documents in English and a camera containing photos of electricity substations, transmission systems, roads, and bridges.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused “counter-revolutionaries” opposed to his socialist government of cutting power cables to worsen the OPEC nation’s electricity crisis, which has forced the government to ration power across much of the country.

“All these elements help corroborate the accusations made by President Chavez,” Aissami said.

Venezuela froze diplomatic and commercial ties with Colombia in 2009 after Bogota signed a controversial pact with Washington granting US troops access to seven Colombian military bases.

Chavez says the pact is part of a US plot to undermine sovereignty in the region.

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