Juan Guaido held a press conference today in which he vowed to crack down on guerrilla and other non-state actor armed groups that operate in Venezuela, calling them “a threat” to Venezuelans.
During his speech, Guaido said that the Venezuelans crisis has left Venezuela in a place of “institutional weakness” that is “unprecedented” in the country’s history. As a result, Guaido argued, Venezuela’s borders have become attractive to armed groups like the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia [FARC, Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces].
Guaido’s comment come just days after Ivan Marquez, one of the FARC’s leaders, released a video in which he called for the organization to once again take up arms against the Colombian government, after it laid them down in a historic 2016 peace accord with Bogota. Colombian media reported that the Marquez might be in Venezuela.
Guaido accused the Maduro government of “financing terrorist groups” like the FARC both directly, as well as through access to mining and other mineral exploitation activities. Moreover, Guaido said,
… [the regime] allows them free transit throughout the country.
Will the dictatorship wait for us to have to ask [these armed groups] for permission to go to the beach? Or for them to collect toll on the Caracas-La Guaira [highway]?
Venezuela is home not only to guerrilla groups like the FARC, Guaido said, but also to organizations like Hezbollah.
Guaido’s comments come on the day that the National Assembly passed a resolution calling on the National Bolivarian Armed Forces to “protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the country before “terrorist groups”. The full resolution can be found here.
Cabello: US Attacks Make Venezuela “Like Vietnam”
Constituent Assembly president Diosdado Cabello said in televised comments this afternoon that the situation in Venezuela today is like that experienced in Vietnam during the war that took place there in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, although he conceded that Venezuela country is not being bombed.
Today, our people are facing conditions similar to those faced by the Vietnamese people. Maybe the difference is that we are not being bombed.
On what he considers to be the similarities between the two struggles, Cabello said:
But we are [being bombed] in an information war, with lies, with manipulation, [with the regime’s enemies] telling people that things that have never happened in Venezuela are happening. That, on top of the blockade, the theft of our assets around the world.
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