Guaidó Authorizes Satellite Use To Locate Guerrillas in Venezuelan Territory

On September 3, Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó announced he would authorize the use of satellite technology to facilitate the location and detection of Colombian irregular groups believed to be in Venezuelan territory.
Voice of America | 27 September 2019

Transnational Threats

A television set in a bakery in Medellín, Colombia, broadcasts on August 29, 2019 a video posted on YouTube of a former senior commander of the dissolved FARC rebel group announcing that he is taking up arms again along with other guerrillas who have distanced themselves from a peace accord signed with the government in 2016. (Foto: Joaquin Sarmiento, AFP)

During a session of the Delegate Commission, which operates during the National Assembly’s recess, Guaidó said the goal is to detect insurgent camps and locate aircraft used for narcotrafficking in Venezuela.

“We will use all relations and intelligence possibilities that are with the interim government” said Guaidó, as he accused Nicolás Maduro of associating with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group.

“We have an unprecedented institutional weakness that these irregular groups, which have proliferated for months and years with the regime’s approval, are exploiting,” he said.

Guaidó pointed out that the border has become a “no man’s land” that “irregular groups control.” He said, “It’s time to make them respect Venezuela,” adding that the groups represent a regional threat.

Guaidó called again on the country’s Armed Forces, asking them, “Are you going to hide the dictator who enables irregular groups to remain in Venezuela?”

This session also approved an agreement rejecting the “presence and expansion of narcoterrorist groups in the national territory” and declaring Maduro responsible for the “proliferation” of these groups in Venezuela.

The interim president also said that he has already begun intelligence cooperation with Colombia to locate these organizations. The decree instructs exiled lawmaker Julio Borges, Guaidó’s presidential commissioner for Foreign Affairs, to work with Colombia and other countries to advance “decisive and prompt measures of collective action” to “restore order and security.”

During the meeting, Francisco Sucre, president of the National Assembly’s Permanent Foreign Policy Commission, said that paramilitary groups had taken over more than 12 of the country’s states.

Sucre said that the interim government and Colombia will submit a formal complaint before the United Nations (UN) Security Council. “At the end of the month, we will take it to the UN General Assembly and submit the report along with Colombia, to show how terrorist attacks are being planned from Venezuela,” he said.

The announcement comes days after Colombian President Iván Duque accused the disputed government of supporting FARC dissidents, after some former leaders said that they were taking up arms again.

The disputed government’s Foreign Office said that they continue to follow with “deep concern” the “imminent reactivation of the armed conflict” in Colombia, but criticized its intent to “shift” its responsibility in the “systematic violation of human rights” as part of a “planned dismantling of the peace process.”

Colombian authorities have also reported that ELN members are operating in the South American nation.

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