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Weekly Report - 03 October 2019 (WR-19-39)

COLOMBIA-VENEZUELA: Duque shoots himself in the foot

No sooner does it appear that relations between Colombia and Venezuela have hit rock bottom than they take a new turn for the worse. A bitter war of words between Colombia’s President Iván Duque and Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro has been raging ever since the former took office in August last year; there was a concern those words could become bullets when Maduro decided to stage nearly three weeks of ‘military exercises’ along the length of the shared border, ending on 28 September. Three days earlier Duque presented a dossier at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) documenting the presence of Colombia’s Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN) in Venezuela and the guerrilla group’s links with Maduro’s government. It soon emerged, however, that at least four of the photos were in fact taken in Colombia, undermining Duque’s case and prompting his military intelligence chief to resign.

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