The Venezuelan president accused Colombia of being "behind" what he describes as an attack on him on 4 August in Caracas. A charge that adds a little more to the historically strained relationship between the two neighbors.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is certain, "the name of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is behind the attack", which he says was targeted Saturday (August 4th) in Caracas.
While an obscure rebel group claimed the action, in a statement broadcast on social networks, he pointed, almost unsurprisingly, an accusing finger towards Bogota. Without delay, the Colombian government responded by denouncing absurd and baseless accusations.
Two neighboring countries, two antagonistic ideologies
The two neighboring countries, ruled by two antagonistic ideologies, Venezuelan social-chavism and capitalism in Colombia, led by right-wing presidents, have been miserable for almost a decade. Re-elected in 2018, the successor of Hugo Chavez, president of 1999 on his death in 2013, regularly accuses the Colombian president of being "in the pay of US imperialism". The latter will give way to his successor Ivan Duque on August 7, far to the right on the local political scene.
"Beyond the personal rivalry between Nicolás Maduro and Juan Manuel Santos, who are often inimical, the two neighbors have historically strained relations since Hugo Chavez came to power in 1999,. When Bogota accuses his neighbor of sheltering Colombian guerrillas, Caracas replies by denouncing the sending of Colombian paramilitaries to his soil. And regularly, the diplomatic crises between the two countries reach peaks, to the point of leading to the closing of the border that separates them. "
"To explain this tension, there is also an aggravating factor in the eyes of the Venezuelan power, which perceives Juan Manuel Santos, former defense minister, as a warlord: the alliance between Bogota and WaChington that makes of Colombia the great ally of the Americans in the region ", the correspondent continues.
For more than a year, Colombia claims to have hosted more than one million Venezuelan refugees fleeing a bloodless political and economic situation, and opponents of Nicolás Maduro, including the most famous of them, dissident Luisa Ortega, former Prosecutor General of Venezuela. For his part, the Venezuelan president claims the opposite: nearly 1.2 million Colombians fled "poverty, misery and war in Colombia, during the mandate of Juan Manuel Santos" to his country.