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Venezuela Protests to US Over Alleged Violation of Airspace

Venezuela has sent a formal letter of protest to the United States, alleging a U.S. military plane violated Venezuelan airspace last week after taking off from the nearby Netherlands Antilles.  The Venezuelan government Monday presented the formal protest to U.S. diplomats in Caracas.  The U.S. denies the accusation. Late last week, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he ordered two F-16 jets to intercept what he said was a U.S. P-3 aircraft over his country.  He said the American plane twice entered his country's airspace from the Netherlands Antilles. Washington has said the U.S.

Dutch Seek Explanation over Chavez Remarks

The Dutch government says it has asked Venezuela's ambassador to clarify remarks by President Hugo Chavez accusing the Netherlands of planning aggression against Venezuela. The comment Friday comes one day after President Chavez said the Netherlands was allowing the United States to use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast for a possible military attack against his country. The Venezuelan leader provided no evidence to support his allegations, and State Department spokesman Ian Kelly Thursday told the Associated Press the allegations were "baseless." The United States has lon