Maduro responded fiercely to his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, who earlier that day repeated an earlier claim that the Venezuelan government’s “Bolivarian Revolution has failed.”
“Colombia is a failed state,” Maduro responded at a party rally in the capital Caracas, where he said he would “reveal the whole truth about the peace process.”
“They are preparing a massacre of the FARC leaders who signed peace,” Maduro claimed.
The accusation touches an extremely sensitive nerve with the guerrillas, who have negotiated extreme security measures after a 1985 intent to enter politics ended in the assassinations of thousands of leftist activists in the 1980s and 1990s.
According to Maduro, Venezuela has taken in 5.6 million Colombians “fleeing from war, from paramilitaries, from the oligarchy, from hunger, from the lack of opportunities, from unemployment. They censor me in Colombia when I tell this truth.”
In Colombia everything is privatized. Everything is for the oligarchy and nothing is for the people. The people only get bullets.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Venezuela has been embroiled in mass protests after years of political polarization, a worsening economic crisis, deteriorating public security and an increasingly autocratic government.
While the country’s opposition has accused Maduro of governing like a dictator, the Venezuelan head of state accused the opposition of trying to stage a coup as it did in 2002 when the late Hugo Chavez was president.
At least three people were killed in Caracas that saw both anti and pro government rallies on Wednesday and Thursday.
Santos has tried hard to stay out of Venezuelan affairs despite numerous occasions in which Maduro partly blamed Colombia for his country’s deteriorating crisis.
For years, Venezuela supported peace talks between the Colombian government and Marxist FARC guerrillas, who have long expressed to be ideologically aligned with the government in Caracas.
After Venezuela’s National Assembly was temporarily stripped of its powers earlier this month, Santos joined other Latin American leaders in condemning the Supreme Court move and recalled Colombia’s ambassador.
Since then, it was waiting for Maduro to again try to drag Colombia into Venezuela’s mess. This happened Thursday.
Apart from the massacre planning allegations, Maduro said Bogota had rejected Venezuelan aid for Mocoa, a southern Colombian town that was partly destroyed in floods and mudslides earlier this month.
We offered medics for the floods and they played deaf, they didn’t accept the humanitarian aid. What a shame.
According to CNN, a source within the Colombian President’s Office said Santos would not immediately respond to the latest accusations by Maduro.