Colombia cancels entrance cards for 300 Maduro supporters

Published 09.02.2019 00:02

Colombia's migration office on Friday said it canceled over 300 daily entrance passes for Venezuelan politicians and their families who support President Nicolas Maduro. "It doesn't make sense that while [they] migrate by hunger and necessity, supporters of the dictatorship enjoy these benefits and enter our country, using this card, to shop, among other things," Christian Kruger, the head of the migration agency, said in a statement.

Colombia has borne the brunt of the exodus of Venezuelans fleeing malnutrition and political turmoil in their once-prosperous nation, with about 800,000 flooding over the border and settling in Colombia.

The Venezuelan leader began a second six-year term on Jan. 10, having won elections in May that were boycotted by the opposition and rejected by 12 Latin American nations, including Colombia and Brazil. Tensions climbed on Jan. 23 when Guaido declared himself interim president, but Maduro has so far refused calls to step down.

Maduro accused U.S. President Donald Trump of ordering his assassination. Maduro, facing the biggest challenge to his rule since replacing Hugo Chavez six years ago, said Trump had ordered neighboring Colombia to murder him on Wednesday. Bogota and Washington have routinely denied the accusations.

However, speculations of military action against him have fueled when Trump adviser John Bolton carried a notepad with the words "5,000 troops to Colombia." Maduro has repeated his frequent warning that a U.S. invasion is imminent. He earlier accused Bolton of overseeing a plot to replace him with a dictator. He alleged that Washington is using "dirty dollars, bled from the U.S. empire" to train 734 mercenaries in neighboring Colombia to carry out the plot.

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