Venezuela, Colombia to Coordinate Actions to Fortify Border

August 21, 2015

borderwithcolombiaVenezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday Venezuela –in coordination with the Colombian Government– will promote a plan for improving security and peace of the two countries’ common land border.

“We’ll develop a major policy for border security, regularization of all economic, commercial, police security, military dynamics in coordination with the Government of Colombia, its authorities, as it should be,” President Maduro said in a joint radio and television hookup at the Miraflores Presidential Palace, Caracas.

The head of state explained that this plan is based on a regularization policy to reinforce police and military security on the border to combat paramilitary groups and organized mafias engaged in bachaqueo (an activity to resell Venezuela’s subsidized goods and fuel in Colombia at market prices).

“The phenomenon known as bachaqueo, brought into the country two years ago, came from across the border with Colombia, where paramilitary drug mafias and smugglers take our gasoline in a brutal smuggling operation, they take the food of the Venezuelan people. It is an extraordinary, dramatic situation, we must firmly tackle it through good judgment and wisdom. The Government of Colombia must enforce the agreements of the Cartagena’s presidential meeting,” he said.

In his speech, Maduro stressed the importance of addressing this problem together with the authorities of Colombia by diplomatic means within the framework of bilateral relations, based on respect and peace.

“I always say that our victory is peace. I always say peace should prevail every day. How peace is preserved? By preventing criminal mafias like those operating at the border that control important municipalities of Venezuela. Let’s gather a massive total support of the civil-military union in the municipalities of the border,” he urged.

He denounced the Venezuelan right is involved in paramilitary operations imported from other countries, especially Colombia. “A lot of evidence is emerging that this paramilitary plague was brought by the Venezuelan right-wing and sent by Colombian right-wing to create violence and death in the country,” he said.

In response to this, he ordered her Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, to coordinate with the Colombian Foreign Ministry a meeting with the participation of governors and ministers of both governments to “immediately analyze these issues and take a series of measures.”

He urged the 5.6 million Colombians living in Venezuela, who have fled violence and poverty in their own country “to embrace the right to peace of the Venezuelan nation that has welcomed them with love, that gives them peace, free education, decent wages and a home.”

He also gave instructions to create a special immigration plan for Colombians who come to Venezuela. He said that 121,834 Colombians have entered Venezuela from January 1 to July 31, 2015.

Building peace with OLP

During his speech, President Maduro said that Operations for the Liberation and Protection of the People (aka OLP) are part of a state policy to enhance peace and public security, so they will continue to run throughout the national territory.

Maduro also stated there are 15,000 troops deployed on Thursday in 21 operations throughout the country. He confirmed that the government is open to proposals to improve these operations that are spread throughout the country.

In statements to state media, President reported that in these operations, there is a special one in border Tachira state, where three officials of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) were wounded last Wednesday after being ambushed while serving security duty against smuggling of goods and products on the border with Colombia.

Social Protection

President Maduro reaffirmed that the Bolivarian Government will focus on the social protection of the Venezuelan people, despite the economic war, attempts to destabilize the country and the loss in oil revenue, the country’s main source of income.

The head of state noted that the average price of a Venezuelan oil barrel is currently at $ 38, representing a decrease of $ 3.40 compared to the average of last week, when it traded at $ 41.40.

“We are making brave efforts to continue the great missions, they must not stop for anything. They must go on: Housing Venezuela, Barrio Nuevo, Barrio Tricolor, Barrio Adentro, as well as employment protection, monitoring of wages and the payment of pensions,” he said.

He stressed that despite the drop in oil prices, the Government has not halted any social program and has increased investment in the development of social protection programs, the number of pensioners, salaries; signed collective work agreements defending workers’ rights, so he ratified that the Bolivarian Revolution guarantees “the right investment of the country’s wealth, which is in the hands of the people to be invested in the people.”

As part of social investments, President approved 2.6 billion bolivars to strengthen the National Public Health System. Of this number, he awarded 2,3 billion bolivars for the Mission Barrio Adentro (primary health care).

He also awarded 281 billion bolivars for purchase and distribution of vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV).

On the occasion of the ninth anniversary of the Latin American Children’s Cardiology Hospital Dr. Gilberto Rodriguez Ochoa, in Caracas, Maduro also passed 25 million bolivares to improve working conditions for employees and supply of new equipment and reagents for the hospital.

He called on the Venezuelan people for the union and collective work to face and overcome the onslaught of the right, while announcing the Government will launch on August 22 the Presidential Commission for Technological, Scientific and Financial Independence in order to increase the productive capacity of the country.

Source: AVN English