Vice-president, Defense Minister Padrino López reaffirms Colombian government left border unattended

Vice-president of Political Sovereignty, Security and Peace, and Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López reaffirmed on Monday his statement that the Colombian government has left their side of the border completely unattended.

In a statement delivered to the press at the Miraflores Presidential Palace, Padrino López said the Colombian side of the border lacks containment of irregular, criminal groups.

“On the other side, there is absolutely nothing. I heard the Colombian press reported they deployed 7,000 soldiers in that area […] We are still waiting to see them,” said Padrino. “Colombia, in addition to this disaster, handed over its territory to these criminal groups.”

The Venezuelan high-ranking official condemned the situation as “an imperial strategy against Venezuela to balkanize it, break it up and divide it, to outsource mercenaries (2020) and now criminal, delinquent, structured, armed groups of violence.”

Regarding the situation in the José Antonio Páez municipality, Apure state, where irregular groups have settled, Padrino López explained “they are drug traffickers trying to invade Venezuela, take over our territory for their operations to continue feeding the Colombian state with drug trafficking, accompanied by the DEA, which is the world’s largest drug cartel.”

Minister Padrino reiterated his warning by saying that “in addition to this, they are not only trying to set up their logistics camps for the distribution of drugs, they are also trying to cause destabilization with these armed groups, to cause a civil war, fights along the border and reach the center of our country. That’s the imperial strategy.”

The Venezuelan defense minister said the Venezuelan Government and people have a clear vision of what the threats against Venezuela are. “In all the fields of this fifth-generation war, we have to see it clearly with eyeglasses, even with a microscope, because there are many agencies and actors involved in this type of war.”

Padrino showed a video of a Venezuelan farmer, stating how Colombia has left its side of the border unattended.

“The Venezuelan people are aware of what is happening, especially the Apure’s people on the border,” said Padrino.

“It is the deliberated liberation of these territories on the border by the Colombian oligarchy so that these groups freely conduct their drug trafficking operations and invade Venezuelan territory,” said Padrino, who explained how this proves that the Colombian government contradicts itself when it claims it is fighting drug trafficking, but paves the way for these groups to commit crimes instead.

“It is the Colombian war; the Colombian disaster being exported to Venezuela. It has been a fight for many years. We have maintained and adjusted our military policy through the Bolivarian Shield Operation to contain the disaster coming from Colombia,” stated Padrino.

“These groups come here to steal gold and try to set up logistics camps for their crops and drug processing laboratories,” he said.

The Venezuelan defense minister said these groups’ actions are the ones “we know from the Colombian conflict. In a perverse way, they slaughter people, sow psychoterrorism in the population, trafficking in persons, training of children. It is the perversion of all their horrible actions in Colombia.”

On the contrary, Padrino López said the Venezuelan Government “has contributed to the peace in Colombia, but all the violence in Colombia has moved to Venezuela, and the FANB has been fighting Colombia’s violence and war for years.”