Venezuelans Storm Border as Colombia Warns Russia

By Sinikka Tarvainen and Peter Spinella (dpa)

A group of persons at crossing into Colombia on the Simon Bolivar international bridge at the border blocked by the Venezuelan military. Foto; Alcaldía de San Antonio del Táchira /

HAVANA TIMES – Hundreds of Venezuelans desperate for food and services stormed the Colombian border on Tuesday, while Bogota indirectly warned Russia against a military deployment in support of Venezuela’s embattled president, Nicolas Maduro.

Parliament speaker Juan Guaido, whom dozens of countries have recognized as the country’s interim president, is trying to persuade the public sector and the army to support his attempt to oust Maduro, who won a second term in a contested election last year.

The country has plunged into an economic crisis and some citizens have had to make difficult decisions.

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They broke through blockades formed by their country’s National Guard and climbed over containers that the army had used to block the Simon Bolivar bridge, which crosses from Venezuela into the Colombian border city of Cucuta, according to Colombia’s migration authority.

Venezuela closed border crossings in the area in February to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid, which Maduro regards as a pretext for a US military intervention to oust him from power.

But Venezuelans have constantly been crossing the border through unofficial paths and the river Tachira, where the water level has now risen, preventing them from using that route.

“The situation is very difficult, we have endured hunger, we have no electricity or water … We therefore come in desperation to seek food in Colombia,” one of the Venezuelans told daily El Tiempo.

Many Venezuelans also come to work on the Colombian side of the border.

Christian Krueger Sarmiento, who heads Colombia’s migration authority, accused Maduro of fuelling illegal migration and of putting migrants’ lives at risk by blocking the border.

“There is no way to stop people who are hungry, who are dying for lack of medicine, people who are in agony because the state does not provide them with basic public services,” Krueger Sarmiento said.

About 1,000 members of the security forces have also defected to Colombia, a US ally which has played a prominent role in the international campaign in support of Guaido. But the vast majority of the army has remained loyal to Maduro.

A group of retired army and police officers on Tuesday sided with Guaido, daily El Nacional reported. The officers, whose number was not given, swore loyalty to the self-declared interim president.

Venezuela’s opposition-dominated National Assembly, which Maduro has stripped of power, was due to approve a law on Tuesday offering guarantees to public sector employees in the face of pressure to support the government.

Colombia rejects Russian involvement

Colombia meanwhile criticized a Russian warning against attempts to oust Maduro, while cautioning that any military support to the regime in Caracas would threaten peace in the entire region.

In a statement issued by Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, the Colombian government said it “emphatically rejects” a declaration issued by Russia’s parliament in late February.

The declaration called upon the United Nations to support a political peace process in Venezuela and prevent any foreign military intervention in the crisis-stricken South American country.

Holmes Trujillo said the “accusations” contained in the declaration “do not correspond to reality and constitute a distortion of Colombia’s position, shared by several countries of the region.”

A democratic transition in Venezuela needs to be “carried out by Venezuelans themselves … without the use of force,” the statement added.

“[Any] military deployment or incursion in support of Nicolas Maduro’s regime puts the democratic transition at risk” and “constitutes a threat to peace, security and stability in the region,” the minister warned.

Russia has admitted to providing military “specialists” to the Venezuelan government as it proceeds with defence industry contracts in the country.

Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), tweeted that he held the Venezuelan government responsible for “what could happen to” journalist Amanda Umek, who went missing on Saturday “after publishing information on corruption of the regime.”

86 thoughts on “Venezuelans Storm Border as Colombia Warns Russia

  • You are correct that this article takes a harsh view of Venezuela. A perspective that is only a shade or two lighter than the American government’s view.

    Now ask yourself, would a paper that is actually Cuban speak from an American corporate perspective?

    Not likely. What we are reading here is very likely a publication that is at the least disguised to look like it is coming from a Cuban voice. I doubt that it is anything more than American corporate propiganda.

  • Well said. Like it or not the US must lead the way when an international humanitarian crisis exists. The international community expects it, especially those victimized as are Venezuelans.

  • Why is the world so divided, moral decline and public shaming everywhere? God’s prolonged spiritual judgment has begun, He has given up man to his sin and the last day is rapidly approaching. To learn more, check E Bible Fellowship.

  • @ Vova Wally — Tell me which country the US invaded that the US kept? Tell me where the US has had a major presence and did not also rebuild infrastructure?

    Could it be that the US reacts in its own interest to the extent it seeks to help settle de-stabilizing conflicts? Could it be that these de-stabilizing conflicts are much more de-stabilizing where access to major resources is at stake?

    Tell me sir, does the US maintain control of Iraq and steal her oil?

  • sounds like you enjoy living in the stone age. Ill enjoy my nice capitalistic steak, air conditioning, freedom, fully stocked grocery stores, internet, and pretty much everything you use to have and don’t know, chow!

  • I don’t understand why they going to Columbia for help, when only this week China amongst others has just sent 50 tonnes of aid. Try Caracas, you planks.

  • Your an idiot. Before Chavez/Maduro, before socialism, Venezuela was one of the richest countries in the world.

  • The answer for this South American crisis is as simple as ABC. ABC are Argentina, Brazil and Chili who represent the military strength of South America. More specifically their navies can blockade Venezuela and stop any naval moves of non American countries. American ships at sea can provide resupply for the ABC units. Advance ABC special forces units in Columbia would represent the Pan American Union and begin to push humanitarian aide across the border province by province. This is a massive replay of our movements during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Our diplomacy can produce a winning hand.

  • Before chavez Venezuela was great!

  • America will not get involved. America’s involvement was to try to supply food to the starving Venezuelans, which was met with Maduro’s military destroying the food trucks. Until the people rise up against this dictator, they will just suffer. China and Russia are there for one reason, and one reason only, to pillage the reserves of the country. I don’t remember seeing them try to feed the starving. Did they send doctors and food? No, they sent the military. Choose your friends wisely…

  • Those after the oil are already there…Russia and China my friend. Choose your friends wisely. America has oil reserves to match the Middle East, they don’t need the oil. Did Russia or China send food and supplies for the masses? I didn’t see any…hmmm. Then why are they there? Maduro has destroyed a once thriving economy with his Socialist Bullshit. Only his removal will end the nightmare that Venezuelans are facing right now. Do you think that is the plan Russia or China want to implement? You watch, China will negotiate for the oil and feed Maduro money, which he will steal. Russia will unsuccessfully try to do the same. China is a much better thief of national reserves. They have demonstrated it all over the globe.

  • Edward you must not know what “humanitarian” crisis means

  • Nicely put. Finally, some honesty in this world. Never again.

  • “Contested election?” Aren’t all elections “contested?” Isn’t that the whole point of an election? As it is, the “contested election” (which the opposition partially boycotted because they knew they were going to lose) resulted in 68% of the votes for President Maduro. At the time the vote was declared valid by the international community. It’s only after the U.S. sanctions didn’t get the desired effect (at least not fast enough) that the election suddenly became “contested” and then they hatched the “random dude raises his hand and declares himself president” ploy.

  • You are a complete moron…how many people need to die??? This situation makes me sick. No food, no water, no power, no medicine…what will it take for you to see this government has destroyed this great country? Why do you think 2 million people have fled from their homes and their lives that they we so proud of genius? Your a brainwashed idiot. I read shit like this everyday. Vzla and all of its citizens both currently living there and those whom have left deserve not just great, but amazing selfless, leadership…Maduro couldn’t lead a 14 year old boys football team to victory let alone reverse the coarse of an entire country that he and his sick “roll model” turned into every citizens nightmare.

  • The US ha spent more than 10 years in Iraq and has never taken its oil so why would we even want to steal Venzuela’s oil and how do you “steal” another country’s oil? I’d like to hear the socialist explanation for that.

  • What are you drinking, not common sense?

  • Strange theory to say the least. The US is now totally energy independent, which includes petro assets. It needs nothing the Venezuelans could offer. Of course the US’s new extraction techniques definitely threaten Venezuela’s balance of trade and future prosperity. Too bad for them that they didn’t develop other sources of revenue. Much the same will be said of other banana republics that never did much to develop an industrial base.

  • Then why did they set those 3 trucks on fire? I speak to a woman all the time in Venezuela who tells me all the horrors of what’s going on there. She witnessed it herself. Her neighbor died because he didn’t have any insulin. No insurance there, if you have a major operation, better hope that doctor likes you or you die. Maduros would rather stay in office and do nothing for his own people and let them die. Maduros just about the only fat man in Venezuela, because only those who are their leaders have any money.

  • Curious that all the events you cite took place under your idol obama. It was his, Hillary’s and Jarrett’s brilliant ‘foreign policy’ that gave birth to the “Arab Spring” and the Maduro summer.

    If you’re a “Free Thinker,” by God, tax my thoughts! The free world cannot afford free thinkers like you!

  • China has already stolen “your” oil?
    It’s more like, the Venezuela oil was stolen by the Chinese from the clutches of American so-called Neocons. The Neocons wanted to steal Venezuelan oil to further prop up the sinking petrodollars they have supported. President Trump doesn’t have the patience to deal with American Neocons. They are broke and bankrupt. President Trump rather deal with the Chinese and Russian governments, where the money is.

  • his name is Sean Penn?
    Are you sure that it’s not S W Penn?
    W for Weasel.
    But you are correct. The dejo in Penn-dejo should be left out.
    All kidding aside, better that you look up his Dad’s family name. Penn is his Hollywood name.
    In my opinion, though, Sean does deserve to add the ‘dejo’ to his adopted name after the propaganda he’s used to support the Leftist Venezuelan Regime’s guided Human Disaster.

  • Could it be because Venezuela sits on the largest oil reserves in the world? Every county the US invaded to bring “democracy” happened to be oil rich countries.

  • So you are a bureaucrat in with muddy trying to power? Lots of luck.

  • In no way should the people have to repay a dime to China or Russia. Neither China nor Russia is investing in Venezuela. Just like they do all over the world they are stealing Venezuela, one piece at a time!

  • This is what we in the USA are in for should we give even more authority to the central Washington DC GOV. If you think it can’t happen here in the USA,… Russia & China are laughing at you behind your back.

    This whole Venezuela mess started as a promise of SOCIAL EQUALITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE. Sound familiar anyone?…. Bueller?….Bueller?

    “Socialism works great, until you run out of other people’s money”…then the guys that run it become your Dictators instead of your representatives.

  • You do know that the US is pretty much an oil independent country. Don’t really need V’s oil, but thanks anyway.

  • Anybody look under Maduro’s desk?

  • That’s a lie!
    The bridge was opened since 2011 until closing vehicular pass in 2015 by the order of Maduro. There are millions refugees escaped from Venezuela to Colombia since 2017 through crossing the bridge.
    America is a net exporter of oil and natural gas since the 2015. No need for Venezuela supplies.
    Russia and China had offered more than 75bn loan, and most infrastructure are owned by Chinese Ex-im bank already.
    Venezuela’s crony socialist dictator had sold the country to new emerging Globalist power and suppressive regime of Cuba & Nicaragua. They are the true traitors of Venezuela people!

  • isn’t it just great that WE CAN…? ahhh….America…One Of A Kind. xo!

  • They were not looting the truck. They were removing the cargo before it burned. The Maduro forces threw molotov bombs at the trucks.

  • What part if Moscow are you from?

  • The US needs to respond for the same reason as we always need to get involved; to maintain our sphere of influence in Latin America. Cannot allow China and/or Russia to gain a major foothold in the continent. So, unfortunately we need to get involved.

  • We don’t need VZs oil.

  • You, Jimmy Jones, and grape KoolAide would have been great friends.

  • That’s right…..

  • Jesus. Help Venezuela. Lord may all Venezuela become Saved.

  • Why does the US need to step up? How is this our problem?
    People get the government they deserve. If the Venezuelans want better government, they need to step up and create it, not sit on their thumbs and wait for someone else to do it for them.
    But no, it’s always “The US must do it! The US must pay for it! The US must send their soldiers to spill American blood for us!”, followed by “Out, Yankee Imperialist dogs!”
    I don’t think so. Not this time.

  • We have a new kid on the block now… i.e., our current govt would never have handled the Libyan debacle the way Obama did… so don’t place that on our shoulders….

    As for Yemen… Iranian intervention there has been the fly in the ointment.

    As for Syria… the present ruthless dictator caused his country’s tribulations….

    As for Venezuela… do contend that it would be quite safe to say that we don’t have any ‘imperialistic’ ambitions there….

    We most assuredly have a lot on our plate right now to contend with domestically…. Putin plus the PRC/People’s Republic of China could certainly be considered imperialist ic though….

    The ‘Monroe Doctrine’ was instituted to protect our hemisphere from foreign intervention or encroachment… so this has to be in our backyard or bailiwick… i.e., referencing our sphere of influence.

  • That is completely false. Who is paying you Putin or Maduro? Everything you say is a complete lie.

  • his real name is Sean Penn

  • Isn’t that what Maduro did to Venezuelans? Everywhere I look, the people are in ditches trying to find food and water. God bless Venezuela.

  • What good is gold, or cotton, or leather, or steel, if you can’t eat them?
    Stupid question. Commodities have value, and can be sold for money–to then buy food, clothing, shelter, etc. Oil is a commodity and can be sold to acquire all of the rest. If one has access to millions of barrels of oil, they can provide for a lot.

  • The two things that will make Maduro leave office is his military turning against him and when he steals enough money to fund his lavish lifestyle for life, like all dictators, they make sure the generals are provided a comfy life while treating the population like shit.

  • More importantly, will you pay for my rescue and extraction when Maduro’s regime arrests me for spying and reporting propaganda? And worst case, will you pay my funeral costs and take care of my family, send my kids to college if I’m murdered by them?

  • As Long as Russian Planes are bringing in Troops, don’t send them back empty ( or with Venezuela’s Gold) send all the socialist loving Venezuelan’s to Russia.

  • Well said!

  • The US is the largest producer of oil in the world, why do we need Ven. Oil?

  • That’s a great argument for having Maduro stay on for another 20 years.

  • Once again opines w/o source references.
    South America continues to struggle, let’s leave well enough alone, everybody!

  • sure sounds like it to me!

  • Venezuela needs a Pinochet.

  • Let’s give the benefit of the doubt. Likely, the Russian military will do more to help the people by repairing/maintaining water, and power systems, than they will militarily support the socialist murderer Maduro. If any nation understands the faults of socialism, it is the Russians. Socialism starved, brutalized, and killed millions of the grandparents of the current Russian soldiers.

  • Could you pay for my hotel, transportation, and meager meals also>

  • Is this the same Venezuela Sean Penn called “the workers paradise” ? That Venezuela? Sean? Sean? Anyone seen Sean ?

  • Lol. Madmandero has already stolen your oil profits,
    No food, no electricity?
    Richest country in S America now giving Haiti a run for their money, nice job

  • Sounds like Colombia needs a wall 🙂

  • Maduro continues to rob hundreds of millions from the treasury and transfer it to offshore banks while his country starves. Hundreds of thousands have fled across borders, people starving, formerly prosperous people are prostituting themselves to eat – all this and you can trot out the old communist dog whistle of Americans just want your oil. The oil is there for the Venezuelans to use but Maduros cronies are stealing it. The regime is ignoring the deaths of thousands while it fattens its own. How can you be so blind?

  • A few facts:
    1) America is producing more oil now that it ever has. America DOESN’T need your oil.
    2) You say, “Then they will kick the Venezuelan people into the ditch and back to grave poverty as before Chevez.” So, those people starving, dying of thirst and/or leaving ISN’T grave poverty???

    Is THIS the socialist workers paradise Chevez was so proud of. NO THANKS!!!,

  • All the ‘dire conditions’ are brought about by the ‘harse sanctions’ imposed by an ‘imperialistic’ USA that performs the regime changes repeatedly in any country they ‘lust’ for! If not for Russia, Venzuela would go down as Libya did at USA’s hands. Yemen is under the same USA imposed campaign now of attacks with proxies like Saud Arabia. Syria was saved from this same sort of regime change called for by USA only by the efforts of the Syrian ppl and friends dedicated to nations sovereign rule.

  • Mad Man Maduro has already kicked his constituency to the ditch and is leaving them to die.
    Perhaps you need to take your mask off and see the world for what it is little man.

  • Progressive liberalism kills, history show us this over and over.

  • I spent 2 months in Venezuela pre-Chavez. It breaks my heart to see this country deteriorate. It is evil to ignore the crime, poverty and suffering. Sure, I bet that income inequality is not as bad as pre-Chavez because most people with resources has left. Maduro is no Chavez. And Chavez was no Chavez.

  • Whine! Whine! Whine! Typical socialist whiner. Drink your oil, fool.

  • I am in chile. There are venezuelans everywhere, entire families. Washing car windows at red signals, selling candy, asking for coins, just to stay alive. And they are HAPPY in these circumstances compared to what they fled from. For me, this is all i need to know about Maduro.

  • Seriously who are you? Do you have any idea what is happening to the people of Venezuela? Why would America care about your oil. Have you send the latest? America doesn’t need Venezuela’s oil or gas. The country has been mismanaged and robbed by several administrations. The country has no freedom – America fault? It’s your Venezuela’s own government that did this. Venezuela current government cannot take any criticism without doing something to quellch it. Venezulea has been driven into the ground by its own political choices.

  • “That bridge was blocked as soon as it was built and has never been open.” LOL! When was that bridge built? 2019??

    ” Gydoe the American puppet Should be put in jail for high treason.” Are you a Russian troll? He was declared the temporary president by the LEGISLATURE!

    “They just want to steal the oil and other riches . ” We don’t need their freaking oil! Have you not read the the US is now a NET EXPORTER of oil due to fracking?? The US is putting out more oil than Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. In fact one of the problems Venezuela is having is the US is EXPORTING too much oil.

  • They were all in the streets so very happy when Chavez and his Cuban police friends took over Venezuela. He was the savior. Now, the socialists have corrupted everything as they always do.
    Anyone with talent has left the country. Venezuela will become a vassal-state of China and Russia. Good luck with that.

  • It sure appears the Venezuelan people have already been ” Kicked in the Ditch”.

    Venezuela has the “support” of Russia and China. But the people are starving?

    The US does not want to have to fix the problem. But it needs to step up and do just that… provide the people of Venezuela the tools they need to reestablish a Democratic Republic. The US need but provide assurances that those legitimate investments by China and Russia will be remunerated over time by the Venezuelan people and newly established Government. The Russian’s nor the Chineese will be happy nor will the Venezuelan people forced to pay but that is the way it is.

  • America is a net exporter of oil and natural gas. No need for Venezuela supplies. I hear it’s cold in St. Petersburg and spring will be late.

  • There is a picture of a street in Venezuela having paper money filling the gutter. It’s worthless trash. Your current president in power is propped up by Russia, who looks not to help you, but to gain a foothold in South America.

  • Why do all the Venezuelans want to leave to leave? Per socialist democrats socialism is great, a paradise on earth. I guess not!

  • You sound like you’re a throwback to the 1970s, like a page from Pravda. What good is oil if you can’t eat? What riches? Wake up.

  • People who claim America wants to steal Venezuela’s oil, etc are just repeating the same old propaganda Madura and Chavez brainwashing. State run oil industry never works because private sector actually invests in the infrastructure needed to run a profitable industry. After Chavez stole the private oil companies, all the talent, spirit, capital & maintenance left and eventually the infrastructure fell apart. You need private industry & capitalism for it to work. America is so much more advanced and standard of living is much higher and there is no state run oil companies and nobody is stealing our oil.

  • I have an offer for you. I will buy you a free ticket to Venezuela. You can discover the truth for yourself & report back. I have made this offer several times to people like you. So far no takers. You seem reluctant to experience the joys of the revolution yourself. As far as the incident at the bridge. There is news footage of Venezuelans looting an aide truck. I guess they were actors paid by trump. Wasn’t trump supposedly a Putin puppet. What is he doing undermining a key Russian ally. The Russians according to the the Russian government have sent troops & aide to Venezuela defying Putin’s puppet. Could you explain all this to me I am confused.

  • Hate to be the one to tell you. China has already stolen your oil.

  • Edward Snider, you must be the dimmest bulb on the Internet. You probably get a trickle of power from one of Maduro’s faulty generators.

    The people of Venezuela know that Maduro and his cronies are the ones responsible for the country’s sad state of affairs. In my opinion, though, it is solely the responsibility of the Venezuelan people to topple Maduro and hang him from a lamp post. America should not get involved unless Venezuela’s neighbors get fed up with hosting refugees from Maduro’s cruel regime FIRST.

  • I suspect Trump will soon move in on Maduro. His days are numbered… remember Momar Ghadaffi? They are coming for Maduro next!

  • The US Brazil and Colombia need to take action and get rid of this dictator. Venezuelans have suffered long enough.

  • You should be ashamed of yourself Mr. Snider. But, perhaps that is asking too much from someone of the Left or very far Right these days. You are spreading falsehoods i.e. “The Simón Bolívar International Bridge (Spanish: Puente Internacional Simón Bolívar) is a 300m long bridge across the Táchira River on the Venezuelan/Colombian border, connecting the city of San Antonio del Tachira in Venezuela with the small town of La Parada in Colombia.[1] The first major city in Colombia after the border is Cúcuta.[2]

    Until the Venezuelan economic crisis, it was a popular crossing point for Colombians to shop across the border. In 2015 Venezuelan President Maduro closed the bridge to vehicular traffic. [3] Since at least 2017, the traffic is mostly people leaving Venezuela.[1][2] ” Wikipedia April 2 2019

  • Russia has invested heavily in Maduro’s Venezuela, wanting a military base in the Americas. This will not be easy. It could bring Russian special forces against US special forces. Marxist Obama is responsible for setting up this dilemma for Trump to deal with. The Muzz bastard should be hunted down and exposed for the fraud he is.

  • How can a country with so great a resource in oil that it can give it away to Cuba be in such dire straits? Maduro is an imbecile and will kill off his population as communo-socialists usually do to get to a point where he can more easily entrench his parasitic political establishment to enslave Venezuelan workers.
    You would have to be an idiot to ignore the shortages of food, electricity, water, and medical supplies to name a few things no longer available to the majority of Venezuelans thanks to Maduro’s incompetence.

  • Propaganda Pal!

  • Dummy they are in grave poverty. Have you not seen them eating out of trash cans. Venezuela is to blame for Venezuela’s problems.

  • The story of Maduro blocking the bridge to stop the Americans Aid from entering the country is total bull shit. That bridge was blocked as soon as it was built and has never been open. Gydoe the American puppet Should be put in jail for high treason. Him and all his American cronies care nothing for the Venezuelan people. They just want to steal the oil and other riches . Then they will kick the Venezuelan people into the ditch and back to grave poverty as before Chevez.

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