HAVANA, August 10 (RIA Novosti) -- Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Monday that by increasing its military presence in Colombia the United States was seeking to establish control over the region's economic resources.
Colombia and the U.S. are planning to sign a bilateral security and defense treaty for 10 years, as a result of which Washington could increase the number of its troops deployed at seven bases in the South American state. The U.S. will acquire the right to use the bases to fight international terrorism and drug trafficking.
"The fight against drug trafficking is only an excuse for deploying military bases throughout the [southern] hemisphere," Castro said. He also said that the high-tech military equipment the U.S. was planning to deploy was not needed in the fight against drug trafficking.
"The real objective is control over economic resources and control over the markets."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez earlier said Colombia's plans were a direct threat to Venezuela, as well as to regional security.