CARACAS – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro summoned his country’s National Security Council in response to “acts of aggression” by Colombia along the border between nations.
The decision was made as tensions between the two South American countries grew again.
“As head of state and government, I made the decision to convene the National Security Council, which will make decisions regarding the Colombian government’s threats of war against Venezuela,” Maduro said at a meeting with council members.
It is noteworthy that Venezuelan military are preparing to perform exercises along the Colombian border. The exercises began today and should be completed on the 28th of this month. All weapon systems shall be tested during military activities during this period.
Maduro said the military mobilization was decided after the country’s Armed Forces Command analyzed the situation on the Colombian border. According to the president, Venezuela has been the target of Colombian aggression.
FARC and tensions
Relations between countries have been in crisis since the last Venezuelan presidential election, held earlier this year. Many countries, including Colombia and Brazil, did not recognize the outcome of the election.
In addition, recently members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced the resumption of the armed struggle against Bogota. According to the Colombian government, Venezuela would be supporting the FARC.
Former number two of the FARC, Iván Márquez, announced on August 29 that he will abandon the historic agreement with the Colombian government and will return to arms.
The decision was announced on video in which Marquez is accompanied by other guerrillas.
“We announced to the world that the second Marquetalia has begun,” said the FARC leader dressed in military green uniform in a YouTube video, referring to a rural enclave considered the cradle of the group in the 1960s.
Colombian Conservative President Iván Duque responded by saying that he would send a special army unit to hunt down Marquez and that the guerrilla has the support of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, without providing evidence of course.
The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), a court charged with prosecuting crimes committed during Colombia’s half century of armed conflict, later announced that arrest warrants against Marquez and others – which were suspended as part of the peace process – were back again.
Marquez accused the government of betraying the difficult deal under which most of the 7,000 FARC fighters left the armed struggle to form a political party.
“It’s a very worrying announcement,” Colombian government peace commissioner Miguel Ceballos said.