Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez drives Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her Defense Minister Nilda Garre in a military vehicle, as they visit a shipyard, in Buenos Aires, December 9, 2009. The dispute intensified over a Colombian agreement to allow U.S. troops more access to its military bases to bolster cooperation against drug traffickers and guerrillas fighting Latin America's longest-running insurgency. Chavez says the base plan is a step toward U.S. aggression against his oil-producing country. The leftist leader has told troops to prepare for possible war and restricted Colombian imports to protest the accord. Tensions further escalated over the weekend when Silva said Colombia is preparing to defend against a possible foreign military attack and Chavez warned Colombia that his country was ready to defend itself against any aggression. The two countries often have sparred when Colombia's long civil conflict spilled across their 1,375-mile (2,200-km) frontier, but the current crisis seems to have heightened risks over a possible flare-up in border violence.
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