CARACAS – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro called on Tuesday his Colombian counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos, “a traitor” and accused him of having “destroyed” life in Colombia after Santos urged Venezuela to suspend the Constituent Assembly.
Maduro said at the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas, during a speech transmitted in mandatory radio and television channels, that Santos “is playing a truly terrible role in history,” adding “he will be dried up for centuries being a traitor.”
Maduro also said that Santos and his administration have left “the greatest disaster that has ever happened in Colombia” and that this opinion is shared by all political forces in Colombia and the world.
“Santos then shared his opinion as if he were ruling Venezuela. He does not govern Colombia, he has destroyed the social, political, moral, economic life of Colombia,” said Maduro, adding “he thinks he is the president of Venezuela, but a Bogotan oligarch will never rule or govern the land of Simon Bolivar.”
Maduro criticized Santos as a response to the Colombian president’s criticism of the election of representatives to a Constituent National Assembly scheduled for July 30 in Venezuela, and reiterated that the peace accords between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could happen because of Chavism.
“Get your hands off Venezuela. Go home, Juan Manuel Santos,” added the Venezuelan leader.
On Monday, Santos asked Maduro to suspend the July 30 elections following the unofficial referendum called by the opposition on July 16, in which, according to the plebiscite’s organizers, 7.5 million people voted against the Constituent Assembly.
The United States also warned Venezuela of sanctions if the country continued with the plan to elect a Constituent Assembly.
Therefore, Maduro activated on Tuesday the Defense Council of the Nation to seek action against this “imperial threat.”
The opposition of Venezuela and the international community criticized that the Constituent Assembly was established with a previous referendum, as required by the Constitution, which is seen an attempt to “consolidate the dictatorship” in the Caribbean country.