Colombia's conservative President Alvaro Uribe stayed away from a summit in Ecuador on Aug. 11 where South American leaders criticized Bogota's plan to host U.S. soldiers at seven bases for counter-narcotics operations.Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva suggested a meeting with US President Barack Obama to calm tempers, while the region's leftists such as Venezuela's Hugo Chavez called Uribe a traitor and said the plan could spark armed conflict. (Reuters)

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