In a reprimand to his agriculture minister Thursday, Colombia President Álvaro Uribe demanded a senior army colonel be dispatched to the Venezuela border to halt the smuggling of agricultural products from Venezuela.
“Put ‘Customs Police’ on the door at the offices in Maicao and Cúcuta, and today,” Uribe said, referring to the two border towns, which at present house DAS offices, Caracol Radio reported Thursday.
Uribe was speaking before the 32nd National Congress of Rice Growers. The officer must be in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and the grower guilds to prevent illegal rice smuggling in Cucuta, Norte de Santander, and Maicao, in Guajira. He said it was necessary to appoint the military officer in order that action be taken.
“The thing is this, Minister: We have to decide if we will take action or not. But let’s make this more action than theory. The theory of the agricultural management everybody knows, ” Uribe said.
The action comes in the wake of a continuing diplomatic and economic rift between the two countries which also prompted Uribe to recently declare that Venezuela is “building a Berlin Wall against Colombia” by implementing an illegal embargo against the Andean nation’s economy.