CARACAS – Venezuela has deployed more than 3,000 military personnel to the border with Colombia as part of the orange alert declared by leftist incumbent Nicolas Maduro, an official said on Thursday.
“More than 3,000 men and women from the FANB (National Bolivarian Armed Forces) are in perfect operational readiness along the Colombian border,” said regime representative Freddy Bernal in a statement.
Bernal, whom the Maduro regime designated as “protector” of Tachira state, bordering the Colombian city of Cucuta, toured the Simon Bolivar bridge, which connects the countries, and said that what was happening between Venezuela and Colombia at the moment was “just one more tension.”
“We will not reach any kind of conflict,” said the official, who said that the political structure of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela in that state has also been deployed.
“We are on permanent alert. We are already deployed as a political structure in the 29 municipalities… We must understand that we are a state in the eye of the empire, that we are in the eyes of the Colombian bourgeoisie and that – just like in the event on Feb. 23 – we know how to guarantee peace, and we are going to guarantee it again,” he added.
Maduro ordered the deployment of troops on the Venezuelan border with Colombia and a missile defense system on Wednesday after declaring an alert throughout the area the day before.
He also ordered military exercises in the border areas, citing the neighboring country’s alleged intention of creating bilateral conflict.
The maneuvers will be carried out from Sept. 10-28 in the states of Zulia, Tachira, Apure and Amazonas, territories that cover the 2,219 kilometers of border that Venezuela shares with Colombia.
Maduro’s announcement came after the Colombian government accused him of supporting the former leaders of the dissolved FARC rebel group, some members of which announced last week that they were taking up arms again.