Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday accused the Colombian government of scuttling his efforts to negotiate a prisoner swap with leftist rebels, saying officials prefer "war" to talks on the possible release of 45 hostages, including three Americans.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ended Chavez's high-profile attempt to mediate between Colombia's government and FARC rebels last Wednesday, after Chavez disobeyed the conditions of his involvement by speaking directly to Colombia's top army chief.
"There are people very close to Uribe, people with lots of power, who don't want there to be an agreement," Chavez said in an pre-dawn appearance on Venezuelan state television. "I wouldn't venture to say that (Uribe) doesn't want it, but I'm sure there are people very close to him who just want war" with the rebels.
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