Sweden Duped By Columbia - Chavez

Sweden's in the middle of an escalating diplomatic row between Columbia and Venezuela over weapons it sold in the 1980's.

Columbia's President Alvaro Uribe is claiming that anti-tank rocket launchers that were sold to Venezuela by Sweden had been later sold on by Venezulea to left wing Colombian rebels.

Following the claims, Sweden is now demanding an explanation from Venezuela's top diplomat in Stockholm.

However, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has dismissed Uribe's comments as "trash" and said he would halt the import of ten thousand cars from Columbia and would put in place other trade embargoes. The Venezuelan President is angry at plans to allow the US to use some of Columbia's military bases.

Chavez said that the rockets seized from the rebels by Columbia were stolen from an Venezuelan naval base by the left-wing Farc rebel group in 1995.

He went on to say that Sweden had "fallen into this play" and his government does not plan to offer Sweden any explanation.

Chavez denied knowingly supplying weapons to the rebels.

"It's not that I've sent them to them, or that generals in my army are giving arms to the Colombian guerrillas," he said.

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