Two Venezuela citizens were killed over the weekend in Colombia, a conflict that has even touched the shoulders of Colombian President Ivan Duque, who said it wasn’t right for a Cuban diplomat to accompany the dead bodies to the Venezuelan embassy.
The Venezuelans were among 20 who were attempting to reach Colombia on motorcycles, when they were hit by a truck driving against traffic on the border with Venezuela. Venezuelan state-run media reports said the two died as a result of a road accident.
But Colombian police said four people were killed and one was injured, leading Duque to demand that Cuba’s charge d’affaires leave Colombia for accompanying the bodies of two slain Venezuelans.
The charge d’affaires, Adelina Fernandez, is a native of Venezuela, but has been based in Colombia for many years. She said she will not leave Colombia until all Venezuelan migrants in the country are provided the refugee status that she herself has. Duque called that position “very irresponsible.”
He tweeted: “Hearing that four are dead, one injured; one is brought into the embassy accompanied by the (charge d’affaires) of Venezuela to show the obligations he has. The ambassador must accompany the bodies, to stay in the funeral and not until they are carried through the streets, packed by well-wishers. It’s not right at all.”
The dispute between Colombia and Venezuela was sparked when Colombia denied entry to the two Venezuela citizens in September, declaring them to be in the country illegally.
The Venezuelan Embassy threatened to withhold aid to Colombia.
In an interview with Colombia’s Blu Radio, Colombian foreign minister Maria Angela Holguin said the government has issued “thousands of explanations.”
In a different radio interview with Caracol, she lamented the loss of life caused by the conflict on the border.
“The Venezuelan people are soldiers who live in Colombia, fight for Colombia,” she said. “I sympathize with the circumstances that have resulted in the loss of life, but this must stop.”
She said Colombia rejects anything that contributes to the situation’s deterioration.
It wasn’t the first time this month that tensions between the two nations have been raised.
Last week, Colombia said that 25 Venezuelan people had crossed the border illegally and were detained before they could enter the country.
In a speech last Tuesday, Duque said he favors a mutual recognition of migrants in both countries and in Europe, a path that he suggested has been made more difficult by U.S. plans to build a wall on the border between the two countries.
“I think that’s a fair way to integrate … all human beings within borders. To benefit everyone,” Duque said.
He went on to say that it would be “totally unjust” for Colombia to extradite anyone back to Venezuela for crimes committed there, and that he would bring up the issue in his upcoming meeting with President Donald Trump.
Killing of two Venezuelan youths in Colombia sparks diplomatic row was originally published on newsone.com
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