Colombian president Ivan Duque spoke in glowing terms today of the country’s response to the Venezuelan migrant crisis, saying that Bogota had chosen to weather the influx of Venezuelans on the high road.

Duque said that while “other” countries respond to crises at their borders by shutting them to migrants, Colombia has instead chosen the path of “solidarity” and “fraternity” towards Venezuelans fleeing misery in their country. Duque said:

Today, Colombia is showing the world that while in other places on this planet some choose to close their borders when faced with migrant crisis, we’ve chosen fraternity, solidarity for our Venezuelan brothers.

Duque also suggested that Colombia’s response to the Venezuelan migrant crisis is a way to “pay back” the hospitality that Venezuelan showed to millions of Colombians who fled violence in their country throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Rafael Ramirez Calls Maduro “An Accident”

Former PDVSA chief Rafael Ramirez penned an article published on his Medium page today in which he leveled more criticism at Maduro and the post-Chavez politics of the ruling PSUV party in general.

In the piece, Ramirez suggests that chavistas have a duty to correct the “accident” that is the Maduro presidency, which he believes is serving the interests of the Bolivarian Revolutions’ foes to remain in power. Ramirez wrote:

They [regime critics] know that Maduro has been an accident for the country and that we ourselves, the patriotic and revolutionary forces, will be in a position to overcome [the accident]. We have the strength and the means to do so. Our enemies do not want us to recover. Maduro gives them the country’s money on a platter; he weakens and corrupts it, demobilizes the people and persecutes chavistas

Ramirez was one of Chavez’s closest allies throughout his presidency, and headed the PDVSA oil company from 2004 and 2014. He had a public break from the Maduro regime that year, and has written several articles–most often featured on Aporrea–criticism Maduro and his regime for abandoning the path laid out by Chavez and surrendering to incompetence and greed.

In this latest piece, Ramirez also writes that Maduro remains in power only by keeping the entire country “hostage” with brute force. He says:

Madurismo speaks with the arrogance that comes with feeling like they have the people in their pocket. The reality is that they have the people kidnapped. Fear has taken over, repression, they’ve imposed the control that authoritarian governments seek. Force, terror have been imposed [sic].

During his tenure as the head of PDVSA, at least $11 billion dollars were embezzled out of the company.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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