The Colombia-Venezuela Border War

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryI find it ironic that the U.S. government is trying to negotiate an oil deal with the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro while some former Colombian rebels hiding in Venezuela launch attacks against Colombian army outposts on the Colombia-Venezuelan border. We must remember that Colombia is a friend of the United States, and a South American democracy, while Venezuela is a socialist chamber of horror. This month, dissidents of the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attacked a Colombian army base in the border town of El Tarra. One Colombian soldier was killed and several were wounded. A faction of the FARC, led by the dissident Jhon Mechas, have been given sanctuary by the Venezuelan government. This faction carried out the attack. This faction, unlike the rest of the FARC, never laid down its arms, and continues to fight against the Colombian government and Colombian military to this day.

As if this is not bad enough, this dissident faction also controls coca farms that produce cocaine. The cocaine is then distributed all over the world and to the United States. This finances the rebel faction, and it is a destabilizing force against Colombia. After 50 years of virtual civil war, Colombia is trying to put its violent conflict into the past. How is this going to happening when neighboring Venezuela still gives shelter to a rebel faction still intent on overthrowing the Colombian government? There are those in the United States who claim that we are playing “real politic” in an effort to get valuable oil imports to keep gas prices down in the United States. So in cutting out oil exports from one dictatorship (Russia), we turn to another dictatorship (Venezuela) to get what the United States needs. Must I remind U.S. President Joe Biden that the current Venezuelan government is responsible for the single largest refugee crisis in the Americas with record numbers of Venezuelans having been forced to flee mostly to Colombia?

While a lot of the world’s attention is focused on Russia’s war with Ukraine, the Colombian government must still maintain a large military presence on its border with Venezuela because the Venezuelan government is far from friendly. The Venezuelan government is far from stable, and Venezuelans are still fleeing their homeland even if the number is reduced. An estimated 5.5 million Venezuelans have fled their country. This is a huge number considering there is no war in Venezuela (unlike in Ukraine). Venezuela is still a hellhole where its people must endure hunger, electric, gas and water shortages, where medical supplies are almost non-existent even in hospitals, where crime and gangs are the order of the day, and where government para-military police arrest, torture and murder dissidents to the regime. No one is sure how many political prisoners there are in Venezuela, but the number is believed to be around at least 973 (according to the non-government organization Foro Penal). Given all of this, why are we even looking at the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela? Are we trading in Satan for Lucifer? Has the United States lost its moral compass?

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