RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza on Monday branded Colombian President Iván Duque as “cynical” for accusing the Caribbean nation of protecting ELN guerrillas and FARC dissidents who perpetrated several attacks, and asking the US to declare it a country that promotes terrorism.
“Duque, don’t be so cynical. You are at the head of a narco-government that exports drugs and violence. A factory of terrorists in power that has liquidated the option of internal peace and sends mercenaries to generate violence and assassinate presidents in the region,” Arreaza wrote on his Twitter account.
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The message is a response to another by Duque in which he accuses the “Venezuelan dictatorship” of harboring “in its territory criminals of the caliber” of FARC dissidents Luciano Marín Arango, alias “Iván Márquez”, and Henry Castellanos Garzón, alias “Romaña”.
“That consent deserves a declaration by the US of that regime as a promoter of terrorism, which serves to reveal that conniving and pernicious relationship,” the Colombian president stressed on Twitter.
The message is accompanied by a video of his participation in the III International Seminar on Analysis and Prevention of Urban Terrorism, which takes place in Bogotá. U.S. Ambassador to Colombia, Philip Goldberg, participated in the meeting.
“Clearly, this acquiescence of the dictatorial regime of Venezuela merits a declaration by the United States, also, as a country that promotes terrorism,” he stressed in that forum.
The Colombian Minister of Defense, Diego Molano, recently assured that both the attack against Duque on June 26, when he was traveling in the presidential helicopter and against Brigade 30, located in Cúcuta, capital of the department of Norte de Santander, bordering the nation, committed eleven days before, “was planned from Venezuela”.
In that line, the Colombian Attorney General, Francisco Barbosa, assured that the Colombian authorities have evidence that those attacks were perpetrated by the 33rd Front of the dissidents of the former FARC, who are led by alias. “Jhon Mechas” and take refuge in Venezuela.
The Magdalena Medio Bloc of the FARC dissidents acknowledged in a video published over the weekend that it was responsible for the attack against the 30th Army Brigade in Cúcuta, where a car bomb exploded, and for the attack against Duque and part of his cabinet while they were being transported in the presidential helicopter.