Interim president Juan Guaido arrived in Bogota today following yesterday’s border violence which left at least four people dead in a failed attempt to drive humanitarian aid into Venezuela.
The events on two bridges connecting Venezuela and Colombia–Ureña and Santander–not only captured the world’s attention, but also appear to have marked the opposition’s most significant setback since it began its latest offensive against Maduro early this year.
Below, an image of Guaido arriving in Bogota alongside Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo:
Last night, Guaido announced that he would attend tomorrow’s meeting of the Lima Group, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow in the Colombian capital. Guaido made the announcement in a tweet which he hinted at an escalation in the ongoing conflict against the Maduro regime:
Today’s events have forced me to make a decision: to formally suggest to the international community that we should keep all options open to achieve the liberation of this country that is fighting and will continue to fight.
Hope was born to die, Venezuela!
Shortly before sending that message, Guaido announced during a press conference that he would attend the Lima Group meeting. While the United States is not formally part of the Lima Group, vice president Mike Pence will be in attendance at tomorrow’s meeting.
Duque: Lima Group Should Avoid “Bellicose Rhetoric”
Colombian president Ivan Duque called on the Lima Group today to avoid “bellicose rhetoric” when it meets tomorrow with Guaido.
Tomorrow, the Lima Group has to make a very clear statement about what we lived through yesterday, and I think that the international community has the obligation to intensify the diplomatic pressure [against Maduro] because a dictatorship that is capable of burning medicine and food is the greatest demonstration of brutality of what its willing to do to remain in power.
Duque was referencing the fact that at least two of the trucks carrying aid into Venezuela went up in flames. While preliminary media reports suggest that the fire was started by a tear gas canister fired by the Venezuelan authorities, video evidence suggests that a protesters’ Molotov cocktail could have been the cause of the flames.
On future attempts to deliver aid into Venezuela, Duque said that he was “waiting for the decisions to be taken by the international community”.
Bogota: 100+ Soldiers Defected Into Colombia
Christian Kruger, the head of Colombia’s migration authority, said today that “a little more than one hundred members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces” have defected into Colombia since yesterday.
Kruger said that the defecting soldiers are “escaping Maduro’s dictatorship”, and that each case is being examined to determine whether asylum will be granted.
As of yesterday afternoon, the Colombian government had counted 60 defectors.
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