Following alleged military provocations from neighboring country Venezuela, Colombian congressmen said that the country must improve its military arsenal and upgrade its fighter planes in order to defend itself from possible Venezuelan aggression.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos announced on Sunday a formal protest against Venezuela for violating Colombian airspace amid the border crisis between the neighboring countries.
Rodrigo Lara, Senate leader of coalition party Radical Change, explained that “we have one of the best armies in the world, our navy is very well-equipped, but we need to improve our anti-aircraft artillery. We also need to improve our air force.”
According to Lara, his advice is due to changing and mutating challenges which must be met by the Colombian army.
“Once we overcome the internal conflict we will have to think about the future of an army which is capable of defense,” added the congressman.
Colombia’s 50-year-long internal conflict is currently being negotiated amid peace talks in Havana, Cuba between the state and leftist rebel group the FARC.
Due to the violence of Colombia’s civil conflict often spilling over the border into Venezuela, Maduro closed the border, deported Colombians and declared a state of emergency in August resulting in a crisis displacing many people from their homes.
Congressman Lara believes that “the best diplomacy is military defense,” and asked Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos to be firm in blocking the impulses of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.
“Maduro’s government continues to provoke the Colombian people,” said Lara adding that these provocations, according to the congressman, are designed to fan the flames of confrontation between the two countries for Maduro’s own internal political gains in relation to the upcoming elections in December.