HAVANA, December 15 (RIA Novosti) - Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, has promised Washington a "second Vietnam" in case the United States shows military aggression in Latin America.
Speaking at the summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA) in Havana, Morales denounced U.S. plans to dispatch its troops at military bases in Colombia and said that if the U.S. threatens to attack, "Latin America will rise and create for the U.S. a second Vietnam."
The 10-year deal signed between the United States and Colombia on October 30 during a brief closed-door ceremony in Bogota envisions the deployment of some 800 U.S. military personnel and 600 civilian contractors at seven military bases in Colombia.
"Latin America will react to any kind of aggression," Morales said, adding that a regional referendum must be held to determine how Latin Americans should treat the U.S. plans for military bases in the region.
Last week, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez called on his country to prepare for a possible war over the deal, saying that a U.S. base is located just 20 minutes away from the capital of the country, Caracas.
ALBA was founded by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez in 2005 and now comprises nine members - Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominica, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Antigua and Barbuda.
Diplomatic relations between Bolivia and the United States have been strained since Morales took office in 2006. Last September, Morales expelled the U.S. ambassador, declaring him persona non grata for allegedly assisting separatists.