Ivan Duque’s increasingly isolated narco-regime has expressed contempt for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) following today’s 6th Summit of Heads of State and Government.
Colombia, notably absent from Saturday’s meeting, had blocked the Summit’s declaration in the latest sign of discord with the rest of the region.
A press release, published by Colombia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the conclusion of the Summit, expressed rejection of the participation of President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro in the Heads of State meeting, and used the opportunity to call for “the prompt return to democracy through free and transparent elections that summon all Venezuelans and political sectors” —despite that all sectors of the Venezuelan opposition will be participating in the forthcoming elections—including those most closely allied with Duque.
“The region cannot tolerate the existence of autocratic regimes in neighboring territories that may even threaten territorial sovereignty, due to their collusion with corruption, drug trafficking and organized crime,” the statement went on to say.
Colombia is the region’s foremost contributor of transnational crime and remains, by far, the largest producer and exporter of cocaine in the world, supplying its primary consumers in the United States. Duque’s allies, particularly former President Alvaro Uribe, have become synonymous with corruption, organized crime, and paramilitaries. Meanwhile, the world looked on as the Colombian state committed serious violations of human rights, not limited to tortures, kidnappings and extrajudicial killings of Colombian citizens, during mass anti-government mobilizations which began in April.
In statements to the press this week, Duque voiced his repudiation of the proposal to replace the controversial Organization of American States (OAS) with CELAC. He was also rumored to have pulled out after previously confirming his participation in the Summit. While the majority of states were represented in the plenary by Presidents and Prime Ministers, and others represented by high-level authorities such as Vice Presidents and Foreign Ministers, Duque sent his Minister of Transportation.
Venezuelan Vice President, Delcy Rodríguez, reacted, saying, “Colombia flees from CELAC and is more isolated than ever in its warlike attitude! Ivan Duque failed and is already past history! Venezuela will continue to shine with President Nicolas Maduro.”
The Colombian regime’s tantrum over President Maduro’s participation comes at a time when the OAS and Washington are encountering renewed opposition to the United States’ attempts to subordinate countries of the region.
For his part, President Maduro challenged right-wing governments to respectful discussion with Venezuela in his intervention and proposed the building of a new institutional framework for CELAC and the constitution of a General Secretariat. He and a growing number of regional leaders believe that the strengthening of the bloc is the answer to OAS Monroe Doctrine.