Amid serious diplomatic tensions between Colombia and Venezuela, 43% of Colombians fear a war will break out between the neighboring countries a survey revealed.
The tension arose with Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s decision to close various border crossings, declaring a state of emergency and deporting thousands of Colombians leaving them without their possessions and many children unable to go to school.
Maduro originally closed the border between Colombian department of Norte de Santander and the Venezuela state of Tachira on August 19 when three soldiers were wounded during a firefight with contraband smugglers.
Furthermore, Maduro explained that the objective of his decision to keep the border closed is to combat the presence of Colombian right-wing paramilitaries in his country.
Originally Maduro announced the border would be closed for 72 hours but the situation is still ongoing after he declared a 60-day state of emergency and closed even more border crossings.
The same survey that revealed almost half of Colombians fear the outbreak of a war with Venezuela also revealed that 20% fear that more Colombians will be ejected from Venezuela, adding to the hundreds who have already been separated from their homes and their belongings.
The survey carried out by the firm Cifras y Conceptos (Figures and Conecpts) also showed that 13% of Colombians fear that the number of Venezuelan people displaced to Colombia will rise.
The results of this survey arise within the context of new tensions between the countries as Colombia accused Venezuela war planes of violating the nation’s airspace, though Venezuela denies this.
Maduro’s opponents claim that he is using the border crisis to divert attention from Venezuela’s economic crisis as a political strategy ahead of December’s elections.