Venezuela will send 15,000 troops to its border with Colombia to fight drug trafficking, kidnapping and extortion, a military official said on 2 November. “To bolster the fight against drug trafficking … 15,000 military troops will be deployed to the Colombian-Venezuelan border,” the official said quoted on the state news agency AVN. “There will be additional constant patrolling of all border security bases to control violence and effectively combat groups engaging in drug trafficking, kidnapping, extortion and other crimes,” the agency said, quoting General Henry Rangel, head of the Operational Strategic Command which handles border security. The announcement came as leftist President Hugo Chavez welcomed his conservative Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos for talks in Caracas. The neighboring countries resumed bilateral ties in August. Santos’s predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, enraged Chavez by saying leftist Colombian rebels were present inside Venezuelan territory. By Dialogo November 04, 2010 I keep the hope alive that we have lasting peace in our AMERICA â€“ I will say one thingâ€“ I have deep concern for the arms race that exists in VENEZUELA â€“ as well COLOMBIA â€“ two countries united in a common dream – – economic and social development. MAY THE PURPOSE OF SIMON BOLIVAR BE GLORIFIED.