Chavez ready to sever Colombia ties

CARACAS: Venezuela is preparing to break off diplomatic relations with Colombia over its plan to give U.S. troops greater access to its military bases.

President Hugo Chavez says "there is no possibility" of repairing ties with Colombia's government.

Colombia and the United States are negotiating an agreement that would let the U.S. military increase its presence at seven Colombian bases through a 10-year lease agreement.

Colombian and U.S. officials say it is necessary to more effectively fight drug trafficking and terrorism.

Chavez says the agreement poses a threat to Venezuela.

The socialist leader told his foreign minister on Tuesday to "begin preparing for the rupture with Colombia."