The colombian guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (Eln) it has expanded so much in Colombia as in Venezuela, where you will benefit from the collaboration and permissiveness of the regime of Nicolás Maduro.
That is one of the conclusions of the annual report on terrorism for the year 2019, just released by the State Department of EE. UU.
In the case of Venezuela, the report argues that the Eln today has presence in 12 of the 24 states of the country, in particular in the state of Anzoátegui, Amazonas, Apure, Bolívar, Zulia, and Táchira.
“The presence of the Eln has expanded beyond its historic base in the border area with Colombia”says the report, noting that their role is increasingly large in a whole series of activities. Among them, the distribution of food subsidized by the regime, the smuggling of gasoline, meat, meal, extortion, illegal mining and propaganda for recruitment via the usurpation of radio stations.
The State Department says it is concerned by reports of collaboration sporadic with the dissent of the Farc, which is also found in the country thanks to an express invitation of the government of Maduro.
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They would be working, says the report, drug trafficking, traffic of gold, control of borders and the displacement of indigenous communities, among other things.
According to the State Department, “Mature and their partners use criminal activities to stay illegitimately in power, and promote a permissive environment for known terrorist groups such as the Eln, the objections of the Farc and supporters of the shia group lebanese Hezbollah. The financial ties between the Eln, the Farc and paramilitary groups on the venezuelan facilitating public corruption of the regime, and that includes the Armed Forces”.
In Colombia, it is stated in the report, we are reporting a “resurgence” of the Eln and its expansion to areas of the country that formerly owned the demobilized Farc.
Mentioned, that according to the colombian government, the Eln would have about 3,000 active members, of which about 1,400 are in camps on the venezuelan side of the border.
Highlights that while some 13,000 members of the Farc have demobilized since the signing of the peace agreement in 2016, there have been challenges in its implementation and “security gaps continuous” that have raised the risk of terrorist activity in the country and attacks on civilians, security forces and infrastructure.
Over the objections of the Farc, the report says they continue to carry out violent attacks whose main objective is to enable the drug trade and other criminal activities.
And notes that throughout the year evaluated (2019), both groups continued to commit acts of terrorism in the country, among them the use of bombs, attacks against the civilian population and against the Armed Forces.
In that context, he mentions the attack by the Eln against the School for Police Cadets in Bogota, in January of 2019, which killed 22 uniformed.
A case that appears is the chapter on Cuba when the State Department claims that after the incident, Colombia requested the extradition of the leaders of the group that remain in Havana, but that was denied by Cuba after claiming that their presence on the island is part of the protocols of a negotiation process that was started with this groupbut that was cancelled by the government of colombian president, Ivan-Duke.
The State Department reminds that the recent decision to include Cuba as a country that “do not cooperate in the fight against terrorism”, after four years out of this black list, is related to the decision of The Havana, giving refuge to persons responsible for acts of terrorism, among them members of the Eln.
In fact, he said that in this country, along with Venezuela, there is a “permissive environment” to terrorist groups.
Despite this, EE. UU. did not include these countries in its black list of States sponsors of terrorism, which keep Iran, Sudan, Syria, and North Korea. It also highlights the relationship of Havana with the regimes of Iran and North Korea, which are in the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Remember that this report serves as a guide to the u.s. Congress in determining foreign aid that is granted to each country.
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The report also alerts about the presence of operatives from Hezbollah in the Triple Border shared by Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil.
“EE. UU. remains watchful with those individuals affiliated with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (EI), and Al-Qaeda attempts have been made to exploit the region” notes the report.
At this point, it is highlighted that in August of 2019, the FBI and brazilian authorities began investigating an egyptian national allegedly linked to Al-Qaeda, and who lives in Brazil.
The research on that individual, who is allegedly planning attacks on EE. UU., is still in progress.
Penalties to captains that led oil to Mature
The secretary of State of EE. UU., Mike Pompeo, announced yesterday sanctions against five boat captains iranians that delivered 1.5 million barrels of oil to “illegitimate regime” the venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro.
“Today, EE. UU. punishes five boat captains iranians who gave 1.5 million barrels to Venezuela in support of the illegitimate regime of Maduro. The assets of these captains will be blocked and not be able to operate in u.s. waters,” said Pompeo in a press conference at the State Department.
The ships of the captains have the names of Carnation, Petunia, Fortune, Forest and Faxondetailed in a press release the Department of the Treasury.
According to this source, the five captains working for the companies, Steamship Lines of the Republic of Iran (IRISL) or for the Company to National Iranian Oil tanker (- NITC).
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With these sanctions, EE. UU. seeks to freeze all assets that may have in the country the five iranians and prohibits them from making financial transactions with any u.s., which in theory makes it hard for them to access the international financial system, based on the dollar.
On the other hand, days after the president of the united. UU., Donald Trump said that he was open to meet with Mature, Pompeo reaffirmed Washington’s support to the opposition leader John Guaidó, recognized as the interim president of Venezuela for half a hundred nations.
“We continue to support the National Assembly (AN, Parliament) and acting president Guaidó in their struggle to restore democracy” underscored the holder of Foreign.
Officially, the Administration Trump has always rejected any direct dialogue with Maduro until “restore democracy” in the caribbean country. However, the american leader has left the door open to the possibility of a meeting at least once in public, during the UN General Assembly in September 2018, when Trump and Maduro agreed in New York, although the White House ruled that out a few hours later.
In August 2019, Trump said that his Government maintained contacts with the chavez “very high level”, although he did not clarify if he was referring to conversations with the considered to be ‘number two’ of the ruling party in Venezuela, Diosdado Cabello, as pointed press information.
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SERGIO GÓMEZ MASERI, AFP AND EFE
A CORRESPONDENT OF THE TIME