The Washington Post published an article today in which it cites U.S. officials as saying that the White House is preparing to add Venezuela to the list of state sponsors of terrorism. If the Trump administration does decide to make the addition, Venezuela will join Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria on the list.

According to the newspaper:

U.S. officials declined to say whether a final decision had been made about the designation, but in recent days the State Department has asked for feedback on the proposed move from various agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is part of HHS, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The same article cites David Smilde, a professor at Tulane University who specializes in Venezuelan issues, as saying that the White House’s decision will likely be “based on hearsay and sources of questionable integrity”, suggesting that there may be no factual basis on which to ground the designation of Venezuela as a state sponsor of terror.

On the implications that the designation could have for Venezuela, The Washington Post writes:

The move could limit U.S. assistance to Venezuela and prohibit financial transactions as the country reels from hyperinflation and extreme food and medicine shortages that have sent millions fleeing to neighboring countries.

OAS Ambassadors Visit Venezuela Border in Colombia

The ambassadors to the Organization of American States (OAS) from 16 member nations took a trip to the Venezuelan border in Colombia today to assess the migrant situation int he region.

The diplomats traveled to the cities of Maicao, which borders Zulia state, and Cucuta, which borders Tachira state. The two cities serve as the primary entry points of Venezuelans looking to escape the crisis by going into Colombia.

Below, a tweet from Colombian ambassador to the OAS Alejandro Ordóñez:

[I am here with] an important number of Ambassadors [to the OAS] we are going to the Colombo-Venezuelan border to see the serious humanitarian crisis from which the Venezuelan people are suffering up-close and to try to find solutions

Colombia Arrests Two ELN Guerrillas in Connection to Border Massacre

The Colombian government announced today that it had arrested two guerrillas from the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional [National Liberation Army] (ELN) linked to the massacre of 10 people in the La Tarra municipality of Colombia on July 10 of this year.

The news came from Colombian president Ivan Duque, who said that the men are known by their nicknames–JJ and Noni–and that they were captured in La Tarra and Cali.

La Tarra is located some 40 kilometers from the Venezuelan border, just north of the city of the Colombian city of Cucuta.

The ELN has come to dominate drug trafficking and smuggling routes along the Venezuela/Colombia border in recent years. The group operates relatively free in at least six Venezuelan states, sometimes with the consent of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces.

The ELN is also suspected of having committed massacres in Venezuelan territory, specifically in the mineral-rich Arco Minero region of Bolivar state.

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

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