Ivan Duque, the Colombian President has compared Maduro to a Serbian war criminal – Slobodan Milosevic – a former socialist president of Serbia who had ordered the killing of opponents and also imposed censorship on the media. He made the comments on Saturday before traveling to New York where he is expected to condemn Maduro before the United Nations General Assembly. The diplomatic offensive comes as tensions rise between the two countries. In September Maduro accused Colombia of plotting against his regime after he claimed he had evidence of a paramilitary operation taking place on the Colombia-Venezuela border. Duque refused to rule out military action towards Venezuelan soldiers who he claims are watching from across the border, and also warned Maduro that any action taken against Colombia would result in a military and political retaliation, threatening additional sanctions.
He said: “If they consider doing something so stupid, they know what the consequences will be.”
The Colombian leader is expected to accuse Maduro of breaking a Security Council resolution, that was formed after the 9/11 attacks in New York, by offering refuge to rebels in Venezuela who broke a peace process and took arms against Colombia.
The Venezuelan president has repeatedly denied those accusations, and although he will not attend this year’s General Assembly, his envoys are likely to levy similar charges against Duque, accusing him of failing to act against illegal armed groups plotting attacks against his government from Colombia.
Duque and Maduro are engaged in a war of words
Duque is expected to condemn Maduro tomorrow at the UN General Assembly
Communication Minister in Caracas Jorge Rodriguez has been animated in his criticism of Bogota, saying: “The Colombian oligarchy wants to lay the ground for an armed aggression against Venezuela.”
In September, Rodriguez referred to the soldiers on the border as “terrorists” and even addressed the Colombian President Ivan Duque directly, calling Colombia a “failed state”.
He also added: “It’s an unfortunate fact that the current government of Colombia has turned its politics into a true threat to the tranquility of Venezuela.”
Venezuela‘s hostility to Colombia is also linked to Bogota’s alliance with the US.
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Guaido is now at a lose end following his failed attempt to oust Maduro.
Maduro has survived an attempted overthrow by Guaido
Donald Trump, US President, has used aggressive diplomacy to try and oust Maduro, using sanctions and threats of military intervention to try and pressurise the Venezuelan strongman out of his post.
The US were one of 56 states to recognise Juan Guaido of the National Assembly as the legitimate leader of the Venezuelan people.
However, superpower China and Trump disrupter Russia stood behind Maduro’s regime, propping him up with loans and weapons sales.
Putin has helped deter the US with Russian weapons
Now the stalemate persists, with Guaido making little progress and his hopes of assuming presidency now fading.
Maduro isn’t attending the UN General Assembly tomorrow, but with the crisis still as desperate as it has ever been, Venezuela will be a major talking point.
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