Ivan Duque, who will be sworn in as Colombia’s president on Tuesday, is poised to become an unusually strong ally for the Trump administration after he made a project of cultivating ties with the White House and spotlighting shared views on drug control, counterterrorism and the unfolding political and economic crisis in next-door Venezuela.
Last Saturday, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, described as “attempted assassination” the events that interrupted an official ceremony in Caracas in commemoration of the anniversary of the armed forces.
Nicolas Maduro's days as president of crisis-ravaged Venezuela are numbered, his outgoing Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos told the French government news agency.“I can see it happening in the near future,” said Santos, pointing to the International Monetary Fund's latest projection that Venezuela's inflation will hit one million percent this year.
On Sunday, Colombians will head to the polls to elect a new president. At play in this year’s election are a range of issues: Venezuelan migration, economic situation, rampant corruption, high levels of inequality, but above all is the country's historic peace accord that ended over half a century of armed conflict.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced on Friday that Colombia would be officially invited to join the group. The Paris-based economic organization was founded in 1961 and has traditionally included industrialized nations, though in recent years it has extended its membership to emerging economies.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed air strikes by the United States and its allies on Syria’s chemical weapons program but Argentina, Brazil and Peru voiced caution during a regional summit about the escalating military action.
Ecuador on Friday confirmed the deaths of two journalists and their driver who had been kidnapped by renegade Colombian rebels -- and quickly launched a retaliatory military operation in the area where they were snatched.
Colombia and Brazil tightened border controls with Venezuela on Thursday as both nations grapple with a mounting influx of hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants fleeing a worsening economic crisis In a visit to the border region, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said he would impose stricter migratory controls, suspend new daily entry cards for Venezuelans and deploy 3,000 new security personnel along the frontier, including 2,120 more soldiers.
At least 8,000 Venezuelans cross the border between Colombia and Venezuela daily to the department of Arauca, southeast of Colombia. Although the migratory flow at this point does not compare with the thirty or forty thousand Venezuelans who cross the Simón Bolívar bridge between Santander and Táchira every day, in Arauca the majority of migrants arrive in conditions of extreme vulnerability.
At least seven police officers were killed and 41 others wounded on Saturday when alleged drug traffickers detonated a bomb at a station in the Colombian city of Barranquilla. The attack comes as President Juan Manuel Santos seeks to end the armed conflict that has wracked Colombia for 50 years. Much of the violence has been linked to drug trafficking.