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The government of Colombia expelled Carlos Manuel Pino, a Venezuelan national without diplomatic status who worked at the embassy in Bogota, citing an unspecified threat to national security.

According to El Universal, Pino was detained by Colombian authorities yesterday in Bogota and deported today.

The head of Migracion Colombia, Christian Kruger, said of the expulsion:

We received a confidential report from a competent authority–the name of which we are withholding–that allowed us to deduce that Pino represented a threat to national security.

Pino was taken to the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, a border crossing that connects Cucuta to San Cristobal. Pino, who has been living in Colombia for the past eighteen years, is also banned from returning to the country for ten years.

According to El Universal, Pino was arrested by Colombian authorities in 1999 in a camp belonging to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC), a now-disbanded leftist guerrilla group.

Below, a video of the moment Pino was expelled from Colombia:

Caracas Reciprocates, Expels Colombian Consular Staff

The Maduro regime reciprocated Pino’s expulsion today by kicking out a Colombian consular official named Juan Carlos Perez Villamizar, giving him 48 hours to leave the country willingly.

In a written statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs qualified Pino’s arrest yesterday as a “kidnapping”, and said that Villamizar was also being expelled for national security reasons. Part of that statement reads:

… given the recent kidnapping by Colombian authorities and arbitrary expulsion of the Venezuelan citizen Carlos Manuel Pino Garcia, an official with the Venezuelan diplomatic mission in Bogota, we have decided, for reasons of national security and in application of the principle of reciprocity, to expel from our territory the Colombian citizen named Juan Carlos Perez Villamizar.

Long Lines for Fuel in Caracas

Residents of Caracas have been struggling to get gas over the last 48 hours, with lines at gas stations growing longer today due to scarcity of the fuel. Several gas stations throughout the city were forced to close for the day after they ran out of gas, intensifying lines at the stations that remain open.

Below, videos of lines at Caracas gas stations today:

While gas shortages have been common in virtually every other part of the country for years, Caracas has been spared the shortages until relatively recently.

According to El Nacional, this round of shortages are due to a fire at the depot that supplies Caracas with the fuel, which is located some 40 kilometers away in a city called Guatire.


 

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