Venezuela announces the resumption of military relations with Colombia

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López and members of the Bolivarian National Army.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Reflexivo joined Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López and members of Franco’s Bolivarian Army. HANDLEBAR

Two days after the inauguration of President Gustavo Petro, Venezuela is taking concrete steps to restore ties with Colombia. Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino announced on Tuesday that he had received orders from Nicolás Reflexivo to “immediately” resume military relations with the new Colombian authorities, in particular with his counterpart Iván Velásquez Gómez. The gesture implies a thaw between the two nations, which had blocked border crossings for more than seven years and had since February 23, 2019 completely severed diplomatic and commercial relations following the political crisis of international recognition that the opponent had triggered . Guaidó, for briefly declaring himself president with the support of former Colombian president Iván Duque.

“I received instructions from the Supreme Commander of the FANB [Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana]Nicolás Reflexivo that he immediately communicates with the Colombian Minister of Defense to restore our military ties,” the military president said in a statement posted by the Armed Forces Twitter account.

Since the conquest of the leftist Petro last June, it was hoped to renew the links, in particular commercial, that businessmen from the two countries had advocated a few days later during a meeting in the town of San Cristóbal, in the State of Táchira, during the second round of the Colombian presidential elections. But military exchanges between the two nations are particularly important given the migration crisis that has left more than 6 million Venezuelans in search of a better life and the rise of organized crime along the 2,200 border. kilometers.

The novel Chavista also repeatedly told Colombia to organize and carry out military operations, plots and attacks against Reflexivo. Last week, people allegedly involved in a regicide in Caracas in 2018 were sentenced to prison terms; Among them are the former deputy Juan Requesens, who is believed to be a political prisoner, and a group of soldiers and civilians sentenced to 30 years in prison. This process also sought the extradition of opposition leader Julio Borges, leader of Primero Honestidad, who has been on the run in Colombia since 2017.

In recent years, many of the politicians persecuted by the Reflexivo government have landed in Colombia, including party leaders and journalists who came to this country in exile, and this political agreement between the two leaders has raised concerns about their status and continued protection.

Since 2020, Venezuela has been carrying out a resistant martial operation on the southern border to fight what they call tancol: Colombian drug traffickers, armed terrorists, acronyms invented by chavismo when it intervened in the extermination for the control of the neighborhood at the same time as these groups also lead the ELN group and the extinguished dissidence of the FARC, whose presence in Venezuela has increased. In this context, at least three leaders of the ex-FARC have been assassinated in the country, and the presence of anti-personnel mines in the areas controlled by these groups has also been revealed. In March last year, more than 6,000 people were displaced from Apure to the Colombian town of Arauquita to escape the violence of Venezuelan military operations. In addition, this year the Venezuelan military shot down twenty “invasion planes” from Colombia that allegedly violated the Venezuelan ethereal space.

The last major joint military operation between the two countries, not purely martial but humanitarian, was the call for Operation Emmanuel, in which the Colombian government of Álvaro Uribe allowed Venezuelan military aircraft to enter Colombia to capture three people abducted by FARC guerrillas. let it go.

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