Venezuela’s Guaido in FARC pledge to Bogota

Shoaib Ur Rehman September 4, 2019

CARACAS: Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido on Tuesday offered to help neighboring Colombia track down dissident FARC rebels after Bogota accused President Nicolas Maduro of giving them a safe haven.

“We are going to collaborate with the Colombian government on intelligence activities, and the detection of these groups that are operating irregularly,” Guaido told reporters in Caracas.

Colombia’s right-wing President Ivan Duque has pledged to hunt down dissident FARC leaders who last week formally rejected a 2016 peace deal and announced a return to arms.

Duque accused the socialist Maduro of providing “shelter and support” for the dissidents.

Colombia, along with the United States and more than 50 other countries, in January recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president and called on Maduro to step down.

Guaido said the opposition-majority National Assembly would authorize the use of satellite technology to locate FARC camps and clandestine airstrips inside Venezuelan territory.

But it was unclear how Guaido could implement such a plan. The opposition-majority parliament is a largely symbolic opponent of Maduro, who sidelined it in 2017 by installing an all-powerful Constituent Assembly packed with his own supporters.

Despite persistent calls on the military to abandon its support for Maduro, Guaido has gained no control over the levers of power in Venezuela.

The parliament on Tuesday approved a resolution rejecting the “proliferation and expansion” of armed groups in Venezuela, including the FARC and the ELN (National Liberation Army), holding the socialist government responsible for their presence.

Although most of the FARC fighters laid down weapons to return to civilian life under the Colombian peace deal, around 2,300 have refused to do so.

 

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Press), 2019
 

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