Venezuela’s Guaido meets with Colombian officials to escalate pressure on Maduro

Venezuela’s Guaido meets with Colombian officials to escalate pressure on Maduro

Representatives of Interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido will meet with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo in Bogota, Colombia today.

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Photo: Reuters

Representatives of Interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido will meet with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo in Bogota, Colombia today.

Given that Colombia and Venezuela share a 2,219 kilometre border, Trujillo’s strengthening of ties with Guaido’s representatives applies further pressure on President Maduro. In February, in a stand-off between Guaido’s supporters and the Venezuelan military, trucks carrying US food and medicine supplies tried to enter Venezuela through Colombian highways. Since the Rio Treaty identifies an attack on Colombia as also an attack on the US, another violent stand-off along the border could lead the US to move closer to military intervention.

While the US and Colombia have not ruled out military intervention, Mr Trujillo advocates against using force, citing regional security risks. The US also still favours using economic sanctions and international isolation to cripple Maduro’s power. Already, most Lima Group nations support the ousting of Maduro.

As Mr Guaido strengthens relations with Colombia, expect Bogota to play an active role in steps taken by the US to depose Maduro. In the long-term, expect the US’s focus on the Venezuelan crisis to signal a growing interest in South America.

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