Bogota, Colombia – Colombia’s right-wing accused Venezuelan leadership of attempting to interfere in Colombia’s upcoming presidential election in order to pull Colombia away from the United States and closer to Russia. Venezuelan diplomats denied the accusation that could strain the relationship between the two countries further.
Hundreds of Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia gathered on April 16th to legalize their personal documents, some urged voters to be careful of foreign interference. The deputy of Venezuelan ambassador in Colombia Eduardo Battistini said that Russian forces operating in Venezuela is no secret. He said that without a war or a natural disaster, the effects of losing democracy are of equal or worse consequence for migrants.
He also stated that Nicolás Maduro’s relations with armed groups, such as FARC and ELN is detrimental to the democratic stability in Colombia and could jeopardize the democracy in the region
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro suspended diplomatic relations with Colombia in February of 2019. Colombia is currently hosting 3 million Venezuelan migrants.
Director of the Observatory on Venezuela at Rosario University Ronald Rodriguez said that allegations of interference are common among the public of Latin America but will increase during the elections. He said that Venezuela does not rely on unconditional support from Russia, mentioning the sanctions that forced Venezuela to seek funding from other sources. Russia has personal interests same as the US and is not an ally as the Venezuelan government portrays it.