Colombia as a political instrument of the US strategy against Venezuela

Colombia as a political instrument of the US strategy against Venezuela

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Bridge of diplomatic relations between the United States and Colombia…COCAINE

By Martha Ortega

We must understand recent Colombian history from the rise of global drug trafficking mega industry that rides on the longest armed conflict in contemporary history, and that is often put in the background. This happens, among other things, to avoid explaining its causes and highlighting the structural weaknesses of the institutional framework of the Colombian state as a whole.

It is an undeniable reality: drug trafficking is the engine that drives Colombian politics and its close relationship with the United States has been determined by the importance that this first-order factor has on the political agenda.

It has given rise to Plan Colombia with huge resources for military and police forces for “the fight against drug trafficking and the counterinsurgency fight” that is largely transformed into the purchase of equipment and weapons.
Behind the scenes, cocaine is its main export product destined for the United States.

The United States delegates dirty work to Colombia

Since Iván Duque came to power on August 7, 2018, the Colombian elite has tried by all means to wash his face by criminalizing the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro.
It is noteworthy that during the inauguration of the Nariño chief, the speech by Ernesto Macías, president of Congress at the time, raised the alleged concern about the increase in drug trafficking and ratified the importance of having the support of the United States to combat it.

Macías said :

“Today you receive a country that has the disgraceful record of being the first cocaine producer in the world, more than 210 thousand hectares planted, 921 thousand metric tons of cocaine (…) Colombia cannot stay with the apology recently raised by the former president Santos to a media outlet, blaming the US for the increase in illicit crops because new cocaine users increased in that country. On the contrary, we must decisively assume the eradication and substitution of illicit crops, yes with the support of that great ally of Colombia, the United States. ”

A month after inauguration, The Inter-American Dialogue (North American tank of thought directed to position the American perceptions on issues in Latin America) organized an event with the chancellor designated by Iván Duque, Carlos Holmes Trujillo, where Francisco also participated Carrión, Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States; Andrew Selee, President of the Institute for Migration Policy; and Pedro Burelli, former external director of PDVSA.

Former Foreign Minister and current Colombian Minister of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo. Photo: The Dialogue
Former Foreign Minister and current Colombian Minister of Defense, Carlos Holmes Trujillo. Photo: The Dialogue

The event focused on the consolidation of the account of how “the crisis in Venezuela affects the region” and political actions should be taken together.

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Beyond the well-known repetition of the anti-Venezuelan narrative, this conversation turned out to be a kind of officialization of Iván Duque entry on the scene in its role as the political owner of the United States and its plan of intervention against Venezuela.

During the discussion, moderator Michael Schifter (who was also director of the Latin American program of the National Endowment for Democracy) pointed out that the newly-elected President Duque was taking his mandate with concern about the “renegotiation” of Colombian-American relations, and asked Holmes Trujillo on the “worrying” possibility that, again, the drug issue was the priority of bilateral relations, to the detriment of addressing other issues, in clear reference to the Venezuelan conflict.

On other hand, the Ecuadorian ambassador Francisco Carrión affirmed that his country has been generous to Colombia by welcoming 300,000 Colombians victims of violence, and that due to this situation Ecuador found it almost impossible to receive Venezuelan migrants.

Foreign Minister Holmes Trujillo’s response was that they were willing to discuss with Ecuador the best solutions to these concerns, but he concluded the discussion, noting that “this type of disagreement could affect the political cohesion necessary between their countries to coordinate attacks of different kinds against Venezuela”.

Clearly, Colombian foreign minister let it be known that the purpose of said event was to think of a coalition of countries against Venezuela. The “other matters” that Schifter was referring to.

The inevitable “surprise” moment of the event occurred when an anonymous participant who identified himself as “Colombian inhabitant of Chocó” communicated via telephone to report that his region “serves as a corridor for the passage of Cubans and Venezuelans who use it as a bridge for the drug trafficking to Central America and the US, which has generated a focus of violence in this area. ”
A convenient testimony tailored to the anti-Venezuelan intentions of Holmes Trujillo and the Inter-American Dialogue.

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Damage control thought from Washington

The failure of Operation Gideon carried out in early May made clear the role of Colombia and its leading role in the “multilateral coalition” against Venezuela.

Iván Duque and his mentor Álvaro Uribe have accepted their role as shipowners of the United States’ strategy, exposing the institutional weakness of the entire Colombian state when his government, on one hand, claims to have nothing to do with the failed mercenary operation. On other hand, he publicly denounces the leak of information from his security apparatuses that ended up confirming his direct participation in the failed incursion in Venezuelan coast.

But most important loss of this operation is the legitimacy of Juan Guaidó’s imaginary interim. How to deny your links with drug trafficking?
However, attempts to revive the Guaidó strategy continue from the think tank The Inter-American Dialogue.

On May 18, this institution again organized an anti-Venezuelan court event called “Conversations with Juan Guaidó”, in which Michael Schifter again drew the line of discourse by stating that “seek a way to end the nightmare that Venezuelans are living It has been and continues to be the most urgent priority for inter-American dialogue. ”

The Dialogue
The Dialogue

The forum organized by Schifter had the special participation of former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, whose first words expressed “the great honor that very few heads of state have been able to have” in reference to the reception that Donald Trump made to Juan Guaidó at the White House in early February.

Unable to evade the issue of the failed Operation Gideon, Chinchilla referred to what happened on May 3 as “a situation that the regime has managed to take advantage of”, suggesting to Juan Guaidó that this incident led him “necessarily to rethink or reconsider the use of force as one of the scenarios to resolve the situation in Venezuela. ”

Chinchilla had no qualms about repeating the worn out mantra of “it is Maduro’s fault” when referring to the national situation, participating as a minor piece in the damage control scaffolding carried out by the misnamed “international community” after the failure of the operation.

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The last chapter of the aforementioned damage control maneuver to cover the forcefulness of the failure of Operation Gideon took place with the organization of the so-called “Donors Conference”, which was carried out with the alleged objective of collecting 2,800 million dollars for Venezuelan migrants in Latin American countries.

Josep Borrell, Head of Diplomacy of the European Union, at the Donors Conference. Photo: EFE
Josep Borrell, Head of Diplomacy of the European Union, at the Donors Conference. Photo: EFE

At the event, at no time were thousands of Venezuelans who are returning to the country, fleeing the collapse caused by Covid-19 in these countries, as well as marginalization, xenophobia and stigmatization considered

The return of Venezuelans to their country destroys a multi-year discursive effort, perfectly manufactured from these Washington-based think tanks.
It is worth asking themselves, after Gideon, how is it articulated again to the so-called “international community”? The answer is clear: by organizing a donor conference where each country demands its share of that money to become part of “multilateral cohesion against the regime.”

Without surprise during the conference, Iván Duque pointed out that:

“… Although this is a meeting where we are essentially talking about caring for refugees, this must be an opportunity to forcefully state that if that dictatorship in Venezuela does not end quickly, that situation will worsen,” also saying that it should “Cease the usurpation, make a broad transition, free elections and reconstruction.”

It is evident if Guaidó and Duque have something in common, it is that they honor the same founding fathers, the same ones who have just sent a contingent of more than 800 military personnel for the alleged anti-drug fight in the Colombian Catatumbo.
There is no need to clarify the real intentions of this movement.

Venezuelan migration back and forth, the alleged humanitarian crisis and “the Maduro dictatorship” will continue to be the perfect excuses for the Colombian oligarchy to avoid seeing its navel, so others do not see its institutional weakness, its war and its industry drug trafficking spread throughout the region.
After all, even boats that untie there end up here in the land of Bolívar.