“The Maduro dictatorship has a few hours left”, that was the sentence that President Iván Duque launched in February 2019, when he announced that Colombia would continue to lead the so-called diplomatic siege against the Nicolás Maduro regime.
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Colombia has been one of the countries that has decisively supported the self-proclaimed president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó.
Having granted this legitimacy to the leader of the neighboring country has allowed international entities such as the OAS to obtain the support, has provoked the rejection of the Maduro government by more than 50 countries of the world and has allowed to carry out actions of high symbolic content, such as the massive concert called on the border between Colombia and Venezuela to facilitate the entry of international aid to the neighboring country.
However, in practical terms, according to experts, in these years little has changed the reality of Venezuela. On the contrary, Maduro has concentrated more power, this Tuesday the new National Assembly, which is related to the regime, took office, and the migrant crisis, which directly impacts Colombia, seems never ending.
Despite the fact that in the objective of seeking a democratic solution to the crisis in Venezuela, Colombia has received support from countries of the stature of the United States, the momentum with which this company began has been deflating, a situation that has seen worsened by the covid-19 pandemic, which changed the priorities of the world’s countries.
(As well: Abecé: everything you need to know about the new protocol for protests)“Washington has gradually left Colombia alone in its strategy against Venezuela, and the rest of the region has done the same,” said EL TIEMPO analyst and columnist Sandra Borda, in an article published in this newspaper.
Washington has gradually left Colombia alone in its strategy against Venezuela
According to Sebastián Bitar, professor at the School of Government of the University of the Andes, the diplomatic siege has been ineffective because Maduro still has the support of countries of great weight in international politics.
“Until there are more countries that ignore Maduro, the siege will not be enough. He continues to have support from large nations like China and Russia and that takes away the impact of the diplomatic siege.
The teacher adds, in a publication from the Universidad de los Andes, that the economic asphyxia of Maduro, which is one of the strategies that the United States has used the most, has been, so far, the most effective method against him. The government of Donald Trump toughened sanctions on the Venezuelan president and his officials by freezing their accounts abroad and also extended these blocks to PDVSA, the state oil exploration, production and refining company.
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“Maduro is affected by the fact that the United States has blocked the sale of its oil. This production is running out of production because it is heavy oil, very different from that produced in the Middle East and which has a lot of economic output ”.
For the professor of international relations at the Universidad del Rosario, Mauricio Jaramillo, Colombia must take a “fundamental turn in its foreign policy”
“Colombia went from being a benchmark for international peace to being a state that relativizes its commitments to the rhythm of ideological changes. It seems that the only relevant issue in terms of foreign policy for Colombia is the ‘diplomatic siege’ of Venezuela, whose failure is already more than evident, ”said Jaramillo.
Added to this is the fact that the Venezuelan regime continues to have power over some Caribbean countries, which has made it difficult to get enough votes to promote stronger actions against it in organizations such as the OAS.
“The so-called Lima Group deflated shortly after it was created and in the OAS, where the Caribbean countries to which Venezuela sends oil have a seat, the environment is favorable to Nicolás Maduro, this has been historically demonstrated, ”said Rodrigo Sánchez, a political scientist at the National University.
The so-called Lima Group deflated shortly after being created
The Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (Celag) recently published an article in which he mentions the various failed attempts to sanction Maduro.
For example, in May 2016, Secretary General Luis Almagro requested that the request for application of the OAS Democratic Charter against Venezuela be included in the agenda of the UN General Assembly. The order does not proceed.
In June of that year, Almagro presented a proposal to apply the Democratic Charter to Maduro, however it was not put to a vote.
In 2017, four new attempts were made to sanction Maduro and ask him for democratic elections, but all attempts failed, either because the resolutions were not put to the vote or because the resolutions were not approved.
In 2018, within the framework of the 48th Ordinary Period of Sessions of the General Assembly of the OAS, on June 5, before the request for the expulsion of Venezuela from the organization, the necessary 24 votes were not obtained (however, the resolution was approved) .
In 2019, in an extraordinary session of the Permanent Council, the political actions that were carried out in Venezuela were considered after several nations in the region supported the swearing-in of Juan Guaidó as the new president in charge: 16 supported the decision to approve Guaidó and 18 countries did not support. Since there was no majority, Guaidó’s envoy, Gustavo Tarre, cannot take a seat at the OAS or represent Venezuela.
That year new attempts and calls were made, but they were not successful either.
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Despite criticism from some sectors of the so-called diplomatic siege, President Iván Duque assured that this strategy “is the best of the years of indifference” with the situation in Venezuela.
“The strategy of the diplomatic siege allowed more than 60 countries to ignore Maduro, to accelerate the investigation in the International Criminal Court, to lose representation in the OAS and the IDB, that effective sanctions be applied and that legal actions be initiated against the ‘cartel of the Suns’. Without a doubt, this is better than the years of indifference or complacency with the destruction of Venezuela ”, Duque.
Precisely, the Foreign Ministry of Colombia assured this Tuesday, when the ruling party installed a new National Assembly in Venezuela, that Colombia does not recognize the legitimacy or legality of the elections held on December 6, 2020, nor does it recognize those who were “illegitimately favored to integrate” the new National Assembly.
Through a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia assured that last month’s elections were fraudulent, since they were carried out in “an undemocratic and irregular manner.”