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Colombia to build military base near Venezuelan border

Colombia has announced that it plans to build a new military base near its border with Venezuela.

Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva said on Friday that the base, which is to be located on the Guajira peninsula near the city of Nazaret, will have up to 1,000 troops.

Two air battalions will also be activated in other border areas, he stated.

“It is a strategic point from a defense point of view,” Silva noted.

The $1.5 million facility, paid for with Colombian tax funds, would also have a care facility for indigenous Wayuu people who live in the area, he added.

Meanwhile, Colombian Army Commander General Oscar Gonzalez announced on Saturday that six air battalions are being activated, including two on the border with Venezuela.

The long-simmering tension between Venezuela and Colombia rose to a boil last August after the US signed a deal with Bogota allowing US forces to run anti-drug operations from Colombian bases.

Pundits say Colombia’s decision to build the new military base will further strain its tense ties with Venezuela.

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