Commentary: Uproar over U.S. 'bases' in Colombia is phony

Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, never one to let facts get in his way, is stoking another anti-American controversy among his neighbors. This one involves non-existent U.S. military "bases" in Colombia.

Given the region's traditional sensitivity to claims of U.S. intervention, it's no surprise that he's getting traction, but it's disappointing to see moderate leaders like Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva take the bait. "I don't like the idea of an American base in the region," Brazil's president said recently.

Neither would Congress, nor the Pentagon, nor the people of Colombia. That's why there are no U.S. bases in Colombia today, nor any plans to change that. Mr. Chávez has taken an innocuous proposal between the United States and Colombia to increase military cooperation and fanned that ember into a roaring fire over alleged U.S. imperialism.

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