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It is a bark, stronger than on previous occasions, but barking after all. Nicolás Maduro threatened Colombia again by taking out chest with long-range missiles and through military exercises near the border, from Tuesday until September 18. His neighbor responded by looking away, reiterating that he has no intention of starting an arms race and, even less, falling into provocations. At best, he appeals to the close alliance with his powerful friend from the north in the face of an unlikely attack.
"Now do not go out with bravado," Iván Duque replied at first. "Rather, instead of spending that silver on missiles, protect the Venezuelan people and give them food."
Yesterday, his presidential adviser on Human Rights and International Affairs, Francisco Barbosa , raised a certain tone, perhaps because of the concern of his countrymen who live near Venezuela. He affirmed that there is "a maximum alert on the part of the same Colombian authorities against any movement of that kind of thing." He immediately clarified it by adding that Maduro is used to making such ads "every time he needs internal oxygen", to which, Colombia does not "go into hysteria."
Caracas had announced the deployment of 3,000 soldiers on the line that separates both countries and that include the states Zulia, Táchira, Apure and Amazonas, a total of 2,219 kilometers. Colombia, for its part, said it would not counter the threat by sending new troops.
Despite the serenity that the Duke Government tries to convey, there are voices that ask to take Maduro more seriously. "In Colombia, the narrative on the left said that buying defensive material is only to make war. But we have vulnerabilities in defense matters because we have not developed dissuasive war capabilities. Last year they removed the funds to buy anti-air missiles from the Budget. ", Carlos Augusto Chacón , Academic Director of the Hernán Echevarría Institute of Political Science, tells El MUNDO. "You cannot have a criminal state in the neighborhood and give up the responsibility of your defense to the United States."
A high military source, who requested anonymity, agrees on the need to improve defense against missiles. Although he does not fear an imminent attack, if it occurs, "the United States could not affect the trajectory of the missile because it does not have bases or aircraft carriers nearby to prevent it."
However, from Brussels, the US special envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams , warned: "I hope they are not crazy enough to get involved in some kind of attack on Colombia." If they did, "Colombia will react and, obviously, we would fully support it."
Position in line with security analyst Alfredo Rangel. In his opinion, "with the umbrella of the United States in terms of strategic protection, Venezuela would never dare to initiate an attack that provokes a warlike conflict. Everything it does on the border is a clown, an element of distraction from the humanitarian catastrophe. that his country lives in. Russia has no interest and without its support, a military intervention is unfeasible. "
What no one disdains is the intensive presence of more than a thousand fighters along the border and in interior areas, of the Colombian guerrillas - ELN and the FARC dissidents -, used by Maduro as a fifth column. Colombian military intelligence reports gave an account of the close collaboration between both terrorist organizations and the Bolivarian regime. And the magazine "Semana" revealed a document from the Bolivarian Intelligence Service and the Operational Strategic Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, which includes the official collaboration of any order they provide to terrorists. Maduro ordered not to confront them and respect the "training centers", as they call the camps on Venezuelan soil.
"A government would have arguments to bomb the guerrilla bases in Venezuela , where they are preparing attacks against the Colombian army and population as a measure of legitimate preventive defense," Alfredo Rangel tells El MUNDO. "Countries that reject the dictatorship and support the acting government would have a hard time condemning it."
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