Colombia’s President Ivan Duque said Thursday that Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro is seeking to buy middle and long-range missiles through Iran.
Citing “international intelligence agencies,” Duque claimed that “the information that exists is that they have not yet arrived but that they have been seeking contact.”
We have longstanding but also confirmed intelligence information that members of the Venezuelan Guard are seeking weapons from other countries, particularly from Russia and Belarus… Fortunately we have the capacity to know and condemn.
President Ivan Duque
The president made the claim days after meeting with the national security adviser of US President Donald Trump, Robert C. O’Brien, and other top officials from Washington DC.
Venezuela’s alleged interest in missiles would be linked to the mass killing of human rights defenders in Colombia, according to Duque, who has been criticized for failing to implement domestic peace policies that would diminish this violence.
The Trump and Duque administrations have been at odds with the authoritarian Maduro administration since they took office respectively in 2016 and 2018.
Previous claims that Venezuela’s government would be having ties with leftist ELN guerrillas and FARC dissidents backfired when Duque was called out for presenting fabricated evidence to the United Nations General Assembly.
Joint attempts to oust Maduro have also failed and effectively solidified the position of Venezuela’s socialist government, which can count on the support of Russia and China.