efe-epaCaracas

Venezuela's foreign minister said Monday that Caracas does not accept Bogota's explanation for the deployment of Colombian armored vehicles along the countries' shared border.

In response to a statement from Venezuela complaining of "the usual and unacceptable provocation" posed by the presence of armored "combat" vehicles near the Paraguachon border crossing, the Colombian government said the units had been stationed there since 2015 to suppress criminal activity.

"We are not satisfied or content with the reply given by the Colombian government, because we know that the military activities and actions and the military equipment that is present on the border with Venezuela are not part of the battle against transnational crime," Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez told reporters in Caracas.

The heightened tension with neighboring Colombia comes nearly two months into a wave of opposition protests in Venezuela against the leftist government of President Nicolas Maduro.

Authorities say the unrest has left 60 people dead, including both supporters and opponents of the government, along with police and bystanders.

"We know that (the Colombian military deployment) is in the context of the provocation designed by the Pentagon," the foreign minister said.

She said the border situation is connected to a meeting two weeks ago in Washington between Venezuelan opposition leader Julio Borges and the US national security adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster.

Maduro has accused the US government - specifically President Donald Trump - of being behind the protests in Venezuela.