Venezuela Accuses Colombia Of Attempting ‘Terrorist’ Sea Invasion

In a case of fumbled communication, Venezuela and Colombia are dealing with a year old feud, intensified by recent events. Interior Minister Nestor Reverol of Venezuela has said in a televised address that the Venezuelan government has foiled an attempted terrorist attack. The attack would have been accomplished through a sea incursion, by reported “terrorist mercenaries” from Colombia. Reverol went on to state that “terrorist mercenaries” arrived at the coastal state of La Guaira, in Venezuela on Sunday, via speedboats.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro often accuse his adversaries of sabotage, and in recent years, of attempting to overthrow him. President Maduro also fears these attempts will be conducted with the backing of the U.S. Venezuela’s opposition has dismissed the allegations. Furthermore, the opposition has stated that the attempted incursion on Sunday was staged, and not planned with United States backing, as the Venezuelan government stated. The Colombian government has also voiced their dismissal of Venezuela’s claims of a planned incursion. As of last year, Venezuela has closed off any diplomatic relations with Colombia.

According to Mr. Reverol, in his statement through the Venezuelan government, the group of insurgents landed in the town of Macuto. Macuto is about 21 miles (34km) north of the capital, Caracas. Mr. Reverol stated that, ‘‘They tried to carry out an invasion by sea, a group of terrorist mercenaries from Colombia, in order to commit terrorist acts in the country, murdering leaders of the revolutionary government.” Regarding the results of the attempted sea incursion, the leader of the ruling Socialist Party in Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, released a statement revealing that eight people were killed and two were detained.

In a different statement, Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino made no mention of deaths, but stated that a speedboat had sunk. Padrino went on to reveal that military vessels were searching the coast for survivors in an ongoing investigation. And then, a third opinion stepped in. Juan Guaidó who, essentially, is recognized by over fifty countries to be Venezuela’s true, rightful leader, had his own thoughts on the matter. Mr. Guaidó accused President Maduro’s administration of overreacting to the supposed sea incursion as a way to pull the shade of the eyes of the Venezuelan people. 

Mr. Guaidó believed Maduro’s administration has attempted to distract their own people, namely, from recent violent outbreaks. One of these outbreaks was a bloody prison riot that took place on Friday and resulted in deaths. Another such event was a gang battle in Caracas, which took place on Saturday night. Guaidó’s press team stated that, ‘‘The regime is seeking to divert attention with a supposed incident plagued with inconsistencies, doubts and contradictions.”

Mr Guaidó has, as it were, a strong willed power on his side. It is crucial that Mr. Guaido’s point get across, and that the Venezuelan government put an end to their distracting tactics. There is, however, a positive light of some kind. Washington has agreed to back Mr. Guaidó, and to use tough sanctions against Venezuela. Ideally, Washington envisions that these sanctions will leave President Maduro and the Socialist Party no choice but to exit their roles in office, and take with them their hopes of distracting the Venezuelan people.