Venezuelan politicians have accused former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe of exporting paramilitarism to their country.
Diosdado Cabello, vice-president of Hugo Chavez’ United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), told reporters Monday that meetings between Uribe, his security team and opposition politicians were “extremely serious.”
Cabello said Uribe and his cohorts were “anti-Bolivarian (…) traitors” who were not welcome in Venezuela. He said, “To bring these cowboys here is to import paramilitaries. It’s to bring the Colombian violence which propelled Alvaro Uribe to Venezuela, and we are not going to keep quiet.”
Cabello said in Colombia it was known what Uribe “was capable of,” and accused Gaviria of being “the father [of] mass graves, false positives [extrajudicial executions of civilians by the Colombian Army who are then made to look like guerrillas killed in combat] and crematoriums.”
He also accused Uribe of attempting to sabotage the recent inaugural summit of the Community of Latin American States, a new body bringing together regional powers without the United States.
Cabello said the PSUV “rejected” the presence of Uribe and his allies in the neighboring country, claiming, “They form part of this anti-Venezuelan sentiment that is starting to foment in some parts of Colombia.”
Uribe met with the leader of the Venezuelan opposition, Leopoldo Lopez, last Friday to discuss his achievements fighting crime during his tenure as Colombian president.
The mayor of Chacao, a district of the Venezuelan capital Caracas, then announced Saturday that two members of Uribe’s security team, Jose Obdulio Gaviria and Alfredo Rangel, were to meet with Chacao police to “design strategies for dismantling anti-social groups which are dedicated to kidnapping in the municipality.”
Uribe has in the past accused Venezuela of harboring Colombian guerrillas, and more recently called on opposition politicians in the country to denounce ties between Chavez and the current Colombian leader, Juan Manuel Santos.