Pompeo’s Visit to Colombia to Coincide with Joint Military Exercises

September 15, 2020

Colombian AF

The Colombian Air Force (FAC) announced Tuesday that the nation will conduct a joint military exercise with U.S. troops in the Caribbean maritime area of Coveñas, Sucre department. The announcement was rejected by broad social sectors of the country and comes in the context of the upcoming visit to the country by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The communiqué issued by the Colombian military indicates that the operational exercise has the objective of “strengthening procedures and standards in the detection, location and neutralization of illicit activities at the service of the transnational crime of drug trafficking. The action will take place from September 18 to 21 under the name of “Poseidon”.

Today the United States announced that the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, will visit Colombia as well as Guyana, Brazil and Suriname from September 17- 20. In the particular case of Colombia, Secretary Pompeo intends to meet with President Ivan Duque. Among the topics on the U.S. agenda are the strong partnership shared” by Colombia and the United States, managing the response to Covid-19, promoting mutual prosperity, strengthening security against regional threats and issues related to Venezuela,  a US State Department statement said.

Regarding military exercises, the Colombian military communiqué states that training will allow for optimizing CDF interoperability and strengthening procedures for the interdiction, interception and neutralization of illicit maritime targets

Similarly, in-flight refueling and open-water search and rescue maneuvers will be conducted under international standards of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

At least 20 Colombian legislators reacted to the announcement and filed a demand against President Ivan Duque. The legislators consider that the president “violated his rights to politics in the form of exercising political control”, because he did not ask the Senate for “authorization for the transit of foreign troops”.

On August 27, the Colombian president authorized the resumption of other advisory and cooperation activities of a United States military brigade in the country.

The United States maintains a hostile policy against the Venezuelan government, which includes an economic, commercial and financial blockade; as well as support for destabilization and sabotage actions within the Bolivarian country.

Likewise, the Colombian Executive has served as a spearhead in the Trump Administration’s plans against Venezuela, harboring terrorists and acting as a base for aggression against the Venezuelan people.

Source: TeleSUR, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau