Colombia will not allow “collaborators” of Maduro in the country
Colombia says it has developed a blacklist of more than 200 “collaborators” of Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro who will no longer be allowed in the country, as the international community continues to isolate the South American nation.
On Wednesday, Colombia’s Director of Migration Christian Kruger said those who are members of Maduro’s “inner circle” are no longer welcome.
“We are not going to allow collaborators of that dictatorship to stay here or hide in our country,” Kruger said. Those who may already be in the country will be “found and expelled,” he said.
Kruger said there would be no publicly available list but those on it “know who they are.”
The two countries share a porous 1,380-mile border and Colombia has become a vital escape route for many Venezuelans fleeing hunger and a collapsing economy. Colombia says more than 1.3 million Venezuelans have arrived here in recent years. But Wednesday’s measure targets politicians, officials and other administration insiders.
The existence of the list came to light as authorities on Wednesday stopped a Maduro appointee from entering the country on a charter flight. Kruger said Ronald Alexander Ramírez Mendoza was stopped at the airport in Barranquilla, on Colombia’s coast. In December, Mendoza was named president of Monomeros Colombo Venezolanos, a manufacturer of fertilizers and animal food, that is part of Pequiven, the petro-chemical subsidiary of state-run PDVSA oil company.
On Tuesday, the White House slapped PDVSA with sanctions and froze billions of dollars worth of its U.S.-based assets.
Maduro is fighting for political survival as Washington, Colombia and dozens of other nations say they recognize Juan Guaidó as the country’s only legitimate president.
Guaidó, the head of the National Assembly, proclaimed himself interim president on Jan. 23, and is trying to force Maduro’s ouster and call new elections.
Maduro has said he’s willing to find a negotiated solution to the crisis but has said he will serve his full term through 2025.