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It's another year and another verbal skirmish in the will-they-won't-they relationship between Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and the U.S.
President Chavez claimed today that the decision to send U.S. troops to Haiti amounted to a covert invasion. Around 5,000 troops have been sent to Haiti to control increasing violence after the earthquake that destroyed Port-Au-Prince.
"I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war. There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that's what the United States should send," he said today. "They are occupying Haiti undercover."
In a typically contradictory speech during his weekly TV show he also said that he wanted to improve relations with the U.S. which have been experiencing another rocky period after Venezuela took umbrage to a deal between Colombia and the U.S. that would allow American troops to use Colombian military bases.
Over the Christmas period, Chavez also accused the Netherlands of wanting to invade Venezuela and of aiding the U.S. in aggressions against Venezuela by allowing fighter jets to use the Dutch-owned island of Curacao as a base.