BUENOS AIRES (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th October, 2019) The Venezuelan Armed Forces will remain deployed on the border with Colombia including after the termination of the military drills to neutralize threats from Bogota, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said.
The large-scale military drills were held near the Colombian border from September 10-28. Venezuela deployed air defense systems at its border with Colombia for the period of holding the exercises. Maduro stressed back in then that the country was boosting its forces in the area amid the threat of Bogota's possible aggression against Caracas.
"There is a traffic of drugs, fuel, kidnappings coming from Colombia ... All of these threats have then led me to the decision to step up military exercises," Maduro said, while addressing the country's military.
"I told the defense minister, when I talked to him, that we needed to establish peace, permanent exercises ... So I decided to extend the orange alert and the presence of the Venezuelan Armed Forces. No armed group can enter the territory of Venezuela. Venezuela is free from Colombia's violence," the president stated.
Relations between Caracas and Bogota worsened amid a political crisis that erupted in Venezuela. In January, the opposition tried to overthrow Maduro in a bid to install its leader Juan Guaido. The attempt failed but the unrest continued with Maduro accusing Bogota of being behind the plot to overthrow and assassinate him.
Colombia has denied the claims. However, Bogota, alongside some other countries, endorsed Guaido as an interim president. At the same time, China and Russia were among the states that supported Maduro as the only legitimate leader of Venezuela.