The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, in a military parade – REUTERS / HANDOUT.
MADRID, Sep 10 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, reported on Tuesday about the start of military exercises on the border with Colombia to neutralize what he considers a “real threat” of “armed conflict” with the neighboring country.
“As of today, September 10, the border military exercises 'Sovereignty and Peace 2019' begin so that together, in civic-military union, we can deploy all the defensive systems that guarantee the peace and tranquility of the Venezuelan people,” he announced. On twitter.
Maduro has considered that the time has come to deploy “all the defense capacity” of Venezuela to “dismantle the war claims that we want to impose.”
The leader 'Chavista' on Monday constituted the Defense Council of the Nation and commissioned him “the collective conduction (…) of this situation of real threat of violence, armed conflict and attack by the war and criminal government of Colombia”.
“We will defend our country,” he said, calling for “nerves of steel” and “activating the plans of the Nation's Defense Council” against “any circumstance.”
Looking abroad, Maduro asked the Colombian authorities for “good sense” and requested the collaboration of the other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean to favor peace between Caracas and Bogotá.
Sources from the Casa de Nariño consulted by the Colombian newspaper 'El Tiempo' have indicated that the order of the Government of Iván Duque is to be alert but keep calm.
“There will be special vigilance over the area,” but “no additional troops will be sent to the border with Venezuela and much less will increase military activity,” said one of the sources.
The military exercises on the common border, which will conclude on September 28, are a symptom of the growing tension between the two countries, which has reached a new peak due to the alleged presence of FARC dissidents and ELN guerrillas in Venezuela.
Bilateral relations have always been fragile. They broke down during the time of Hugo Chávez and Álvaro Uribe, but they were restored with Juan Manuel Santos and Nicolás Maduro to the point that Venezuela was a key actor in achieving peace with the FARC.
As the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has worsened, so has the bilateral relationship. Duque has been one of the most critical voices against Maduro, who accuses Colombia of conspiring with the United States to launch a military intervention in the Bolivarian Republic.