While many are trying to engage in talks with the Maduro dictatorship to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Venezuela, Colombia’s Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez makes an important point. The Cuban-controlled dictatorship in Venezuela has extensive ties to international criminals and terrorist groups. It would be folly to believe any good-faith negotiations could take place.
Colombia: Maduro regime, propped up by transnational criminals and terrorists, won’t make deals with US
President Trump’s administration can’t drive out Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro by cutting deals with his cronies, according to a top regional leader, who says transnational criminal and terrorist organizations help keep the regime afloat.
“Criminals that are part of the Maduro regime, they are not going to be working with [good] faith, never, not with the United States, not with the international community,” Colombian Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez said Monday at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
Ramírez praised Venezuelan opposition leaders for remaining united against the regime, but her assessment was especially pointed coming the week after a failed push for a military uprising against Maduro. Opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó, recognized as interim president in January by President Trump and dozens of other Western leaders, tried to oust the dictator last Tuesday, but the effort fizzled as key regime officials dashed international hopes for high-profile defections that would take the military out of Maduro’s control.
“There have been discussions … with civil and military officials who are ready to take the side of our constitution,” Guaidó said in an interview yesterday. “Today all that needs to happen is for the armed forces and certain [government] employees to overcome their fear.”
Ramírez emphasized that the crisis will not wane. More than a million people have fled Venezuela for her country, as political and economic catastrophe have led to food shortages and crippled hospitals. The most recent waves of refugees include numerous pregnant women, some with “only one or two weeks more to have their babies,” she added, which has put a strain on the Colombian medical system.
“It’s costing a lot of money, but we have the decision to support them and to maintain this very high and clear voice in the international community,” she said, adding that “the Venezuelan crisis is not only Venezuelans’ crisis, it is a regional crisis.”
Maduro has remained in power with the help of foreign governments, Russia, China, and, especially, Cuba. But Ramírez put a spotlight on the regime’s cooperation with transnational crime organizations, which she said have been the focus of the Venezuelan government ever since the late president Hugo Chávez came to power in 1999. She noted he wanted to “convert this part of the region” to make neighboring countries more susceptible to those corrupt organizations.
“They have been working very close with Colombian guerrillas, with Colombian narco-traffickers, with terrorists from abroad,” Ramírez said. “What we have been seeing during the last 20 years, it’s part of this plan.”
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