By Carlos Camacho. Information from EFE.
The ruler of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, said Sunday that the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, was enlisting a team of snipers to assassinate him.
Maduro made his controversial claims while a delegation of Norse mediators was in town, meeting with him and with representatives from the National Assembly led by Juan Guaidó, the interim President of Venezuela, recognized by more than 60 countries including the European Union. However, Norway still recognizes Maduro.
Maduro did not show any evidence, but similar claims have been used in the past to justify violent crackdowns against the opposition.
“There are groups that want to kill me, they are bringing snipers to kill me, from Colombia,” Maduro said during televised broadcasting.
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“They are training snipers there, Iván Duque, to kill me,” he added, before explaining that, despite the threats, he will keep attending public events because he likes to travel around the country, to “feel the warmth of the people”.
Maduro has not made alive personal appearance since he claimed he was the subject of a drone attack about two years ago. Caracas councilman, Fernando Alban, died while he was in police custody as a result of the drone investigation.
Earlier this year, Maduro said a group of US-backed mercenaries had tried to invade the country to out him, in a series of unclear incidents, which resulted in deaths and arrests. Two US citizens are in jail for those events.
Colombia is the first country receiver migrants and is estimates that there are more than 1 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in that country. After the pandemic, some of them has returned to Venezuela, and Maduro accuses Ivan Duque to uses them as bioweapons to attack the country.
Bogota and Caracas broke off diplomatic relations years ago. Duque is an avowed critic of Maduro, and Maduro has often referred to the Colombian President as Porky.