Venezuela slams Colombia over refugee status granted to dissident
Tension was running high over the weekend between Venezuela and Colombia, with Caracas accusing Bogota of protecting its enemies after Colombia granted refugee status to Venezuelan dissident Julio Borges.
Colombia protected “Venezuelan citizens who seriously attack democracy and the life of Venezuelan presidents,” the government said.
Colombia announced on Thursday that it had granted refugee status to Borges, a former president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, whom Caracas accuses of masterminding a drone attack on President Nicolas Maduro in August.
The Venezuelan statement described Borges as “a notorious enemy of peace in Venezuela.”
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza meanwhile criticised Colombian President Ivan Duque on Twitter, saying he was unfairly blaming on Venezuela the “abandon of the Colombian side of the border, which favoured the development of drug trafficking, paramilitarism, criminal gangs and Colombian irregular groups.”
Relations between the two countries are icy, with Colombia currently having no ambassador in Caracas after the last one was recalled last year.
Colombia hosts nearly 1mn Venezuelans, many of whom have fled the economic crisis and political unrest in the neighbouring country.