Bogota: The top envoy to Colombia of Venezuela’s self-proclaimed interim president on Thursday rejected the possibility of a Colombian military intervention in the neighbouring country.
“The last thing you want to see is a Colombian military incursion … in Venezuela. That would mark us for the rest of our days. So you have to manage these things with a lot of prudence,” Humberto Calderon Berti said at the “What Will Happen in Venezuela?” forum, organised by Colombian weekly magazine Semana.
“We’re in this neighbourhood and we can’t move away. Everything we do much be done with extreme prudence,” he said, reports Efe.
Calderon said his calls for caution have prompted “attacks from radicals,” who call him an “old dinosaur” when he expresses opposition to potential military action.
Juan Guaido, the speaker of Venezuela’s opposition-controlled but toothless National Assembly (unicameral legislature), declared himself that country’s interim president in late January, saying that leftist head of state Nicolas Maduro’s re-election victory in May 2018 was fraudulent.
Around 50 countries, including the US, Germany, the UK, Colombia and Brazil, recognise Guaido as acting president and are calling for new presidential balloting.
Russia, China and India are among the dozens of nations that still regard Maduro as the legitimate president of the South American nation.
Asked about what has happened with Venezuela’s embassy building in Bogota after Maduro’s move late last month to sever ties with Colombia, Calderon said it is now completely empty.
Maduro broke off bilateral ties amid a row over the opposition’s unsuccessful attempt to bring in tons of humanitarian aid.
Venezuela’s government has refused to accept that assistance, saying it is a Trojan horse and that he would be paving the way for a US-led military intervention if he did not use his army to block it from entering from Colombia and Brazil.
Calderon said his duties as Guaido’s envoy to Colombia include extending a hand to Venezuelans living there.
He also expressed concern for unaccompanied children who have crossed the border, as well as the situation of kids who were born in Colombia to undocumented parents and who “aren’t Colombians and aren’t Venezuelans.”