Between Apure and Arauca

Among other news, Colombian President Iván Duque blames the Venezuelan regime for protecting armed groups, specifically the ‘Segunda Marquetalia’ (FARC dissidents) and the ELN.

  • Most Venezuelans don’t know the magnitude of the conflict on the border with Colombia, because the regime hasn’t told them. 
    • Our border became a place of violence after the peace agreement in Colombia in 2016, because FARC dissidents, the ELN and drug traffickers battle for control of the territory, drug trafficking revenue and other businesses.
    • Both nations blame each other. The FANB wants to pass some of the clashes as victories, but they don’t provide any context or traceability. The regime insists they are battling ‘Colombian drug trafficking terrorists.” 
    • Maduro’s defense minister exhorted his Colombian counterpart to fix the calamities and tweeted about “the imperialist equation planned out with a multidimensional approach.” 

Read more about Human Rights Watch work collecting testimonies of raids and executions by the military in the area where the Venezuelan forces are fighting a FARC rogue group

  • Colombian President Iván Duque blames the Venezuelan regime of protecting armed groups, specifically the ‘Segunda Marquetalia’ (FARC dissidents) and the ELN.
  • An intelligence report warns that the ELC is in El Nula, Táchira and cover Apure and Zulia from there. The report says they have 475 armed men and 641 militia, mobilized to Apure to support them. 
  • Diego Molano, Colombian defense minister, announced they’re offering a reward for the leaders of the organizations on the border. 
  • Daniel Palacios, the minister of interior, reported that at least 86 people have died in Arauca in 2022, as a consequence of the conflict between FARC dissidents and ELN. 16 people had warrants for their arrest and 80% had ties to armed groups. It’s mainly a conflict between criminals, but it impacts civilians too. 
  • Documents from the Argentinean Armed Forces affirming that President Mauricio Macri was contemplating sending troops to Venezuela if the U.S. led an invasion were leaked. Diosdado Cabello questioned that Alberto Fernández hadn’t released a statement and  Maduro asked the Argentinean government to investigate the news. 
  • DGCIM officers arrested six military officers of the Maripa, Sucre municipality brigade in Bolívar for allegedly being part of gas smuggling operation. 
  • CEOFANB commander Domingo Hernández Lárez tweeted that the FANB deactivated over 900 homemade landmines in Apure and assured that they were used for causing terror among the population. 
  • Economist Manuel Sutherland explained that if Venezuela maintains its alleged current growth (4%), it’d recover the GDP it had in 2013 in 32 years, by 2054. The country needs a productivity explosion that would allow us to reach two-digit rates that can pave the way for sustainable recovery, which could only be possible with a lot of investment.
  • Sociologist Luis Pedro España considers that the country is on its way to having to get real on all prices, including gas, electricity, cooking gas and water. 
  • The dean of UCAB’s School of Economics Ronald Balza assured there’s no possibility of stimulating the use of the bolivar because Venezuelans spend all their bolivars quickly because our currency lost its capability to be a reliable way of saving.
  • There are two more political prisoners today: William Echarry, 70, and Ramón Blanco, 66, were arrested in Macuto on Saturday for trying to put up a sign saying “Venezuela wants justice, fuera Maduro. They were charged with inciting hate.
  • Mariela Magallanes reported that political prisoner Juan Carlos Marrufo went on hunger strike to denounce overcrowding and human rights violations. 
  • At least 26 people disappeared in the mines in Bolívar during 2021, according to the Citizenship and Human Rights Commission. The commission and newspaper Correo del Caroní have compiled 175 reports of disappearances in the area between 2012 and 2021. 
  • THE OAS permanent council will hold a session on February 16th to debate the Venezuelan migratory crisis. 
  • The ONSA considered the action by the Trinidadian Coast Guard was disproportionate. On February, 5th, they shot at a fishing boat and killed a Venezuelan baby. Lawyer Francisco Villarroel demanded the Venezuelan State use available mechanisms to carry out an investigation. 
  • Venezuelan authorities are investigating the death of eight Waraos, who were found on the border with Guyana in early February. Waraos haven’t ruled out that the victims weren’t murdered by armed groups operating in the area. Another version says that they could have drowned while trying to flee the country. 
  • The Panamanian Immigration Service reported that ten Iranian citizens coming from Caracas were detained carrying fake identity documents, German residence cards. They were sent back to Venezuela. 
  • The Venezuelan Network of Unions called for a protest on February 15th in front of hospitals for “dignity, life and families,” starting at 9:00 a.m. 
  • An investigation revealed that former senator Piedad Córdoba delayed the release of hostages for political interests, including presidential candidate Íngrid Betancourt. A former advisor to Córdoba, Andrés Vásquez, assures that she intended to credit Hugo Chávez for the release, so he could catapult her to the presidency. Betancourt asked for justice. 
  • Andrés Vásquez became a key witness in the case that involves Álex Saab, after he said that she introduced Saab to Maduro and Tarek El Aissami
  • NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg assured that he discussed the topic of Russian and Chinese support for Venezuela’s repressive regime during a meeting he held with Colombian President Iván Duque.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.