Are Colombia and Venezuela about to go to war?

Members of the Bolivarian Militia take part in a military parade to commemorate the 16th anniversary of the return of the late President Hugo Chavez to power after a failed coup d' etat, at the National Heroes Avenue in Caracas on April 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / FEDERICO PARRA (Photo credit should read FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)
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CARACAS – The latest news about rising tensions between Caracas and Bogota was the orange warning issued by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in response to Colombia’s “threat of aggression”.

Colombian-Venezuelan researcher María Fernanda Barreto explained whether there could indeed be a large-scale military conflict between Caracas and Bogota, or if the war has started for years and no one has yet announced it.

Colombian leader Iván Duque was accused by Maduro on Tuesday of wanting to create a “series of false positives” to trigger the war. The Venezuelan president, for his part, declared that the country will carry out military exercises from September 10 to 28 across the border with Colombia.

The statement by the Venezuelan president followed the complaint made by Venezuelan Communication Minister Jorge Rodríguez that in the neighboring country there would be three military training centers to carry out destabilization actions in Caracas, under the protection of the Duke government and its political force.

War would have already begun

In the analyst’s opinion, we must first analyze the role that was assigned to Colombia by the United States.

“[Colombia] has become the main US base in the Latin American region from the military, economic and political point of view,” said the researcher, adding that “the Colombian country has begun to be used as a channel to attack Venezuela.”

“They used indirect approach warfare tactics across Colombia and carried out a series of actions in Venezuela, such as economic sabotage, paramilitary invasion, a series of operations to destabilize the Bolivarian Revolution,” he said.

For Barreto, one of these major operations took place on February 23, when the United States forcibly attempted to enter Venezuela through the Colombian-Venezuelan border, presenting the event as an attempt for humanitarian aid. The Colombian government has opened its international bridges for trained groups to act to escalate the violence and reach a breaking point and entry into Venezuelan territory.

This action was televised by major news agencies as a film montage that failed to achieve its goal.

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Unresolved Conflict

“Colombia is a country at war […] there is a social and armed internal conflict that has not been resolved in the last 60 years, had moments of dialogue, agreement, but the conflict had no solution,” said the analyst.

The researcher believes the conflict served to “justify its military industry and its war-related business, but the Colombian state never took responsibility for the war it created and sustained.”

“The underlying conflict is class conflict, and the first victim of the Colombian state is the Colombian people, and that people are in part, and should learn to be, the best ally of the Venezuelan people,” said the researcher.

“In addition to the government, both the Venezuelan and Colombian bourgeoisie are united in the same historical project in favor of the United States in the region. Speaking of the Colombian state, the government and the factual powers, this war between that state and the Venezuelan is happening irregular,” reinforces Maria Barreto.

Large scale maneuvers

Following the statement of “orange alert” to the “Colombian threat”, Maduro announced on Friday the deployment of an anti-aircraft missile system on the Colombian border.

The military maneuvers will take place to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the creation of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces Operational Strategic Command (CEOFANB) to “tune the entire weapons system” and ensure that Venezuela “preserves its security, peace and tranquility,” Maduro added.

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