By Carlos Camacho.
Embattled Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro had a hissy fit on air Tuesday night when discussing the alliance between Colombian President Ivan Duque and the National Assembly President Juan Guaido.
Maduro admitted that his regime has captured over 30 criminals wanted in Colombia, but because Duque is so “stubborn” has not remanded the prisoners over there. Colombia was one of the first countries (amongst 60 so far, including the U.S. and the European Union) to recognize Guaido when he claimed the mantle of interim President a year ago.
“That Porky guy” Maduro exploded, in an apparent reference to Duque, only hours after Colombia reiterated that it didn’t recognize Maduro and will deal only with Guaido in the surrender of Aida Merlano, a former Colombian senator sentenced to 15 years and who was recaptured in Venezuela Monday. “It’s ridiculous,” Maduro said several times during a long tirade blasting Duque, Guaido, and other names in his often aired “enemies list”.
“Colombia, together with several countries in Latin America and the rest of the world, does not recognize and in consequence, does not have diplomatic relations with the dictatorial regime of Nicolas Maduro,” Colombia’s Justice ministry stated Monday night about the Merlano case.
“Well, sorry, I ask permission not to laugh, but it’s just so ridiculous …Here we have legitimate authorities,” Maduro screeched at one point. “They work! They work much better than in Colombia.”
It was like a surreal bolero song. Only a bit more unhinged. For instance: “Porky is so obtuse! Porky is…and obtuse, brute, like only he, can be!” Maduro said at some point.
Later, a wounded Maduro promised not to collaborate with the Duque-Guaido effort, saying: “Send your letter, Duque, to Guaido, carry out yet another imbecility, and then let’s see who Guaido will send to you!” and, by the way, Merlano is telling while in regime custody about “corruption networks in Colombia”.
Merlano lost her senate seat and was sentenced to 15 years for trying to buy votes for a left-wing coalition and spending money she could not justify as a senator. She escaped her captors, daringly, in October, during a visit to the dentist, when she climbed out of a window using a rope and rode away in a waiting motorcycle two stories down. She was captured with another Colombian national and it was unclear why she sought refuge in Venezuela.
Merlano could only spend a quarter of a million dollars in her campaign, and she spent almost half a million. She was captured in Venezuela, a country with a socialist government and a long, storied tradition of financing, sometimes unlawfully, left-wing candidates all over the world. She was first elected the year after Maduro took over.