Is Venezuela funding presidential candidates in Mexico and Colombia?

Venezuelans would be getting Colombian identificaion cards to vote for Gustavo Petro, deputies denounce.

Is Venezuela funding presidential candidates in Mexico and Colombia?

Leer en español: ¿Venezuela está financiando candidatos presidenciales en México y Colombia?

A group of opposition deputies in Venezuela asked the parliament's foreign policy commission to open an investigation into the possible financing that the government would be making for the presidential campaigns of some leftist candidates in Colombia, Mexico and Paraguay.

The request to the Venezuelan National Assembly was presented by Deputy Rafael Ramírez, who stressed that the investigation is trying to establish whether Venezuela is supporting in any way the candidacy of Gustavo Petro in Colombia, Andrés López Obrador in Mexico and Fernando Lugo in Paraguay.

The complaint is based on a document published on December 21, 2017 by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), which establishes the need to get strategic allies in other countries of the continent, to combat the restrictions that have been imposed by the region against the Maduro regime. Regarding this strategic alliance, besides contemplating the possibility of financing the campaigns of left-wing candidates in Colombia and Mexico, the document mentions the need to maintain international relations with Russia and China.

Does Venezuela have enough money to do this?

According to explanations that Ramírez gave during an interview for NTN24, the aid or financing of Venezuela in the campaigns of the aforementioned presidential candidates does not necessarily represent large sums of money, but it can also take the form of logistical support and political intermediation.

There is unconfirmed information about the possible creation of murals in Venezuela in favor of López Obrador, which would illustrate these forms of support. The purpose of the murals and the people involved in its creation are still a matter of investigation in Venezuela. In the case of Colombia, the parliament is currently investigating a plan of "cedulación" (giving people national identification cards) and "transport of Venezuelans" towards La Guajira that seems to have been elaborated so that they could vote for Gustavo Petro in the presidential elections.

The information has not been ratified by the foreign policy commission; however, those intentions would not be a surprise because, as Ramírez has indicated, this would not be the first time that the Venezuelan government is involved in the financing of counterparts who share the same ideology.

An inconsistent 'solution'

If this information is confirmed, Nicolás Maduro would demonstrate once again that his intention is not to solve the critical internal situation suffered by his country, but to cushion the so-called "blockade" imposed by the neighboring regions.

The Venezuelan leader has lost allies in South America and currently he only has the support of Evo Morales in Bolivia. The coming to power of Petro and Obrador could represent an eventual relief for the Maduro government, since it would have two allies that would stop exerting pressure on the regime to seek real solutions to the tragic situation in which the country is plunged. Establishing some kind of cooperation with Colombia would be key for Venezuela as thousands of Venezuelans cross the border into the neighboring country on a daily basis.

Nicolás Maduro does not want to acknowledge that his government has completely destroyed his country and that it is also damaging other nations on the continent. It seems inconsistent that while millions of Venezuelans leave everything to flee the country, and hundreds die of hunger or lack of medication, their top leader prefers to spend resources to influence the politics of neighboring nations, rather than to safeguard citizens in Venezuelan territory.

 

Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo

Translated from "¿Está Venezuela financiando candidatos presidenciales en México y Colombia?"

 

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