Colombian President Iván Duque Monday said several former guerrilla commanders were being granted shelter in Venezuela and asked the United States that Venezuela be added to the list of countries that promote terrorism.
Duque specifically said his neighboring country was hosting several members of the Residual Organized Armed Group Structure 33 (GAOr-E33), dissidents of the former FARC guerrillas.
The President made those remarks while launching the III International Seminar on Analysis and Prevention of Urban Terrorism.
Among the guerrillas allegedly sheltering in Venezuela, Duque mentioned them by their aliases: 'Iván Márquez,' 'Romaña,' 'El Paisa,' and 'Pablito,' who is a part of the Central Command of the Army of National Liberation (ELN).
Duque said that the US Government of President Joseph Biden should pronounce: Clearly that consent of the dictatorial regime of Venezuela merits a declaration by the United States as a country which promotes terrorism.
The Magdalena Medio Bloc of the FARC dissidents has accepted its responsibility, both in the attack against Duque and part of his cabinet, when they were mobilizing in a helicopter headed for Cúcuta on June 25, and in a car bombing at the facilities of the Grupo Maza Battalion, Army Brigade 30, in the capital of Norte de Santander ten days earlier.
The rogue group also warned Duque that “our actions do not end here, we tell the president that you are part of the war and while there are no guarantees for the vast majority, our rifles will not be silenced.”
The President has replied that the Government will not be intimidated by organizations outside the law, and that it will rather continue in its objective of disintegrating them completely: “We are not afraid of any of these threats ... [they] do not intimidate us, nor do they dampen us, nor do they diminish us. Let it be clear to that GAO-r 33 that we are going to dismantle it completely, we are going to bend it and the Colombian nation will stand firm against any form of terrorism. Colombia does not kneel before any threat,” Duque has said.
He also insisted it was vital that the conniving and pernicious relationship between the Venezuelan government and the FARC dissidents and the members of the ELN be revealed, so that the terrorists are handed over to the authorities who are looking for them.
”I want to make it clear that all their plans have been identified and revealed thanks to the work of our intelligence, that of our Police, Army, the DNI, the collaboration with the intelligence of the Air Force and the collaboration of international organizations and intelligence bodies of the other countries,” Duque underlined.
Duque finally called for Alex Saab, the alleged front man of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, to be extradited to the United States, and warned that the terrorist known as ‘Otoniel,’ who heads the ‘Gulf Clan,’ “will fall very soon.”
Colombian authorities have announced in recent days the arrest of six people, including retired Army Captain Andrés Medina Rodríguez, alias 'El Capi', for his alleged participation in the attack against Duque, according to the Attorney General's Office.
Defense Minister Diego Molano said last Saturday that he had learned of another plan to assassinate Duque, in which 'El Capi' would also be involved together withb 'Block 33' of the FARC dissidents.