Colombian president Ivan Duque gave an interview to El Tiempo in which he spoke on a variety of subjects, including the country’s strained relationship with Venezuela.

In the interview, Duque was asked about the possibility of a military intervention in Venezuela with the goal of removing the Maduro regime from power. Duque said:

I have not fallen into the game of belligerent talk because that is typical of the message from the [Maduro] dictatorship, which always tries to make demons in order to validate its own existence so that it can remain in power.

Sanctions are very important, but not against the Venezuelan people but rather against the inner circle of the dictatorship–freezing, seizing assets while at the same time hitting them with individual sanctions. It is very important that the international community has pointed out that the cause of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is the dictatorship. 

When asked about the fact that Venezuelan army units have been moved to the Colombian border over the past week, Duque said:

We’re not in an arms race with Venezuela, and we’re not falling into provocations. Colombian cannot fall into provocations. That’s been a constant with the Venezuelan dictatorship. They want to continue to use smoke screens [by] mobilizing troops to the border, or they launch incursions [into Colombia] with armed personnel. We’re exercising border surveillance and control.

We’re doing this with rigor, but under instructions from [me] to not fall into any provocation. With respect to the army, we’re not in an arms race. We’re not buying weapons to compete with Venezuela. 

Duque stressed that the Colombian armed forces were “known the world over for their professionalism”, and that they were properly equipped to deal with any aggression. 

Video Shows Dire State of Caracas Water

One of the many victims of the ongoing crisis in Venezuela is the country’s water system. Years of corruption and mismanagement have made access to water both precarious and dangerous.

The video below shows the state of water as it arrives in Chacao, a neighbourhood of Caracas. The video was made by Gabriel Santana, who represents a neighbourhood association in the area.

In the video, Gabriel speaks on the poor quality of the water in the neighbourhood while showing residents treating water with “a product” that Gabriel says he received as a donation. After placing the product into a tub of water, residents watch as small clusters of brown impurities form.

The product that Gabriel is demonstrating is likely a clarifying agent, which when added to contaminated water helps suspended solid that might otherwise be too small to detect clump together for easier removal. 

Below, the video along with my translation: 

Gabriel: We’re in the Pajarito sector of the Chacao municipality to [make known] a complaint from our neighbourhood to the entire world about the poor quality of the water in Caracas. 

We’ve received a small donation of a product that cleans water. It separates sediments in potable water, which demonstrates the poor quality of the water that arrives in our homes.

This is the water that our children, and our grandparents drink. It can carry disease, like amoebiasis, salmonella, and even hepatitis A and E. 

These are the sediments that remain behind after we purify the water. We want to call on every international organization that defends the right to water and health, because this is a violation of our human rights. We also want to launch an information campaign for our neighbours to let them know of the poor quality of the water that is coming into our homes, as well as [give them] practical advice to help them improve its quality a bit. 

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

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