MADRID, Sep. 13 (EUROPE PRESS) –
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said on Friday that “there is more evidence” of the alleged links of the self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaidó, with drug trafficking in Colombia, alluding to photographs in which the opposition leader appears next to two alleged members of the Colombian criminal gang 'Los Rastrojos'.
Maduro has argued that there is an “alliance” between Guaidó and the criminal gang and has revealed that “there is more evidence” of Guaidó's alleged relationship with “Colombian drug trafficking.”
“Tremendous bandit, tremendous criminal, who has chosen the United States Government to be the leader of the opposition,” he said during an act of the ruling party, the PSUV, according to local press reports.
In addition, he has accused his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, of “organizing the departure to Cúcuta de Guaidó with 'Los Rastrojos'”, also pointing out that former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe would have ordered the criminal gang to guard the Venezuelan opponent.
The snapshots were known this Friday but were captured in February coinciding with the celebration of the Live Venezuela concert on the Colombian border to get humanitarian aid. In them, Guaidó appears with 'El Brother' and 'El Menor', alleged members of 'Los Rastrojos' already captured.
The Progresar Foundation in Norte de Santander, who has made these images known, has suggested that Guaido crossed the border with the help of this narco-paramilitary group. The truth is that it is not yet known how it arrived in Colombian territory.
The opposition leader has denied Friday any link with 'Los Rastrojos', emphasizing that it is the Government of Nicolás Maduro who welcomes them to “irregular” in Venezuela, and has announced that he will broadcast “unpublished videos” that show how he entered Colombia.
For his part, the attorney general of Venezuela, Tarek William Saab, reported Friday that “, given the serious evidence that has been made public in recent hours, regarding the connection of Juan Guaidó with the narco-paramilitary group known as' Los Rastrojos', the Public Ministry (…) has decided to open an investigation “against him.
However, the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, has shown his support for Guaidó, whom he has defined as “a hero”. “Juan Guaidó is a hero, he is a defender of democracy and his people, he is a man who has had the courage to face a dictator who has tried to take his life many times,” said Duque and picked up Radio Caracol.
The Government of Colombia has issued a statement in which it clarifies that Guaidó entered through an illegal step into the country without any intervention by the Duke Executive. “The Colombian Government did not participate in the logistics of the transfer of President Guaidó from Caracas to the border with Colombia, nor did he have any role in the passage of Guaidó through the sites known as” trails “”, they have detailed.
“The two men who appear in the photographs that have circulated in the media today are captured and in judicial process. John Jairo Durán Andrade, aka Minor, was captured by the National Police in June in Puerto Santander. Albeiro Lobo Quintero, aka Brother, he surrendered to the National Army near Guaramito and was prosecuted for the crime of concert to commit a crime, “they added.
This is the fifth criminal case against Guaidó. He is already being investigated for calling himself “president in charge”, financial irregularities, diversion of funds for humanitarian aid and an alleged secret negotiation to deliver the Essequibo territory to Guyana in exchange for political support from the United Kingdom.
All these accusations are framed in the political crisis that Venezuela is suffering due to the pulse between Maduro and Guaidó so that the international community recognizes them as the only legitimate president.