Tension and Mendacity Surround the Colombia-Venezuela Border Conflict

By Alejandra Garcia on April 8, 2021

Bolivarian militia, photo: Bill Hackwell

For the last two weeks, Colombia’s drug trafficking and paramilitary groups have been engaging in border incursions into Venezuela. The rising tensions in the state of Apure, which borders Colombia´s Arauca department, are making headlines in local and international media. A group of armed Colombians have set up clandestine camps with the intent to further penetrate Venezuela in the hopes of generating chaos and violence.

Venezuela has declared a state of alarm, and it has reinforced its military presence in over 700 of the 2,200-kilometers-long border with Colombia. Members of the National Armed Forces (FANB) and the Navy have joined efforts to put an end to the conflict that has caused the death of at least eight Venezuelan soldiers.

“We will not rest until we bring peace and guarantee the protection of the Venezuelan people, even if that means risking our lives on the battlefield,” the head of the FANB’s Strategic Operational Command Remigio Ceballos assured on Tuesday.

The clashes are having dire consequences for the country, which is experiencing an unprecedented economic crisis triggered by U.S. unilateral sanctions and the pandemic. President Nicolas Maduro’s government has been forced to allocate resources to thwart the conflict that originated from Colombia.

Violence in Colombia is endemic. Drug trafficking is a business that has permeated that society and state institutions with the full complicity of successive Colombian governments.

“This is an irrefutable truth. However, the administration of Ivan Duque and the right-wing media at the service of Washington insist on blaming Venezuela for the armed conflicts that have shaken that country for 70 years and the recent border crisis,” Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza explained.

Duque has purposely abandoned the Colombian border. No one knows who controls it, whether paramilitaries, guerrillas, drug traffickers, or other irregular groups that may appear. “On the other side of the frontier there is chaos,” Arreaza pointed out.

The Colombian president’s cynicism reached its limit when he accused Venezuela of being a narco-state. “It seems to be a tactic out of the pages of Nazi military strategist Joseph Goebbels. Colombia is attacking our country to divert attention from its own reality,” Arreaza condemned.

In an article published in Mision Verdad, journalist Carola Chavez explained the phenomenon in these terms, “There is no better context for lies to spread than a war scenario, especially in these times, when the truth has to be carefully excavated from among million of lies and half-truths,” she wrote.

The new media campaign against Venezuela has grown along with the tensions in Apure. For Duque’s oligarchic media, terrorists who threaten the country’s tranquility are not criminals, but some “hard-working and peaceful farmers.” However, the land they cultivate is somehow sprouting anti-personnel mines.

Lies are raining down from all fronts of the oligarchic media. Headlines such as these are common: “Maduro’s complicity with the Colombian guerrillas is taking its toll,” or “Extrajudicial executions are being carried out by FANB Soldiers.”

“Venezuelans are fleeing the violence of Maduro’s government,” Duque said without mentioning that no official from his administration has visited the refugee camps that give shelter to nearly 8 million people displaced due to the internal war Colombia wants to bring to Venezuela.

“Duque has taken the stage to project onto Venezuela his own country´s miseries. Meanwhile, the armed groups are trying to implant in Venezuela the germ of the war that Colombia and Washington want to impose. But of course, it doesn’t matter because the liars at Washington’s service are there to whitewash everything,” Carola Chavez said.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English