Venezuela’s disputed President Nicolas Maduro has raised his country’s military alert level and ordered troop exercises along Colombia’s border.
Maduro announced the increased alert level after reiterated claims from his Colombian counterpart Ivan Duque that leftist guerrilla groups that oppose the government in Bogota would be given shelter by Caracas.
Duque vows to continue Colombia’s peace process, but FARC dissidents ‘will suffer the full weight of the law’
‘Colombia doesn’t want peace’
“Colombia doesn’t want peace,” he said on national television. “It wants war,” he added.
All military units on the border declare an orange alert because of the aggression from Colombia against Venezuela and begin … military exercises from from September 10 until September 28.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Last week, a group of dissident FARC commanders announced their return to arms, citing Duque’s failure to comply with a peace deal signed in 2016. Duque said these dissidents are supported by his Venezuelan counterpart.
Caracas has rejected this claim and has been openly supportive of the disarmed guerrillas’ political party, which has vowed never to pick up arms again.
Colombia’s opposition backs FARC leader in call on Duque and former guerrillas to comply with peace deal
Different political dogmas, same mierda
While both presidents have accused each other of threatening their countries’ national security, neither Maduro nor Duque can count on much support from their people.
Both country’s are politically unstable; Maduro’s socialist presidency is disputed by opposition leader Juan Guaido and Duque is trying to run his country with a minority coalition with strong tendencies to the far-right.
Both governments have repressed democratic opposition, are devastated by corruption and have taken their constitutions with a pinch of salt.
Venezuela has suffered an economic collapse for years, which has spurred millions to leave the country. Some 1.4 million Venezuelans are estimated to have migrated to Colombia in the past four years.
Colombia is going through a peace process, but this is hindered by extremist forces on the left and the right and Maduro’s occasional erratic behavior.
20 years of tensions in three sentences
The two countries’ relations became particularly problematic after late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took office in 1999 and former President Alvaro Uribe took office in 2002.
After Uribe left office in 2010, his successor Juan Manuel Santos was able to soothe relations with the neighbors until Maduro assumed power after the death of Chavez in 2013.
Duque’s election victory last year further ignited hostility, especially after Duque actively supported Guaido who claimed the presidency after Maduro’s controversial reelection in January this year.