Colombian president to visit tense border city

By David Boddiger

BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos made plans to fly to a border city Saturday amid soaring tensions with Venezuela that have triggered an exodus of Colombian residents.

In Washington, the U.S. State Department expressed concern about the situation, and urged both countries to resolve the dispute diplomatically.

Santos’ office said the president would visit shelters established in the city of Cucuta for the hundreds of Colombians who have fled Venezuela, carrying with them their meager belongings.

The crisis erupted on Aug. 19 after Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro closed the border and then declared a state of emergency following an incident in which three Venezuelan soldiers were shot and wounded by two assailants on a motorcycle.

See: Maduro picks new scapegoat for Venezuela’s problems

The two countries have recalled their respective ambassadors and Maduro has said 3,000 troops were being deployed to search “high and low” for Colombian paramilitaries, whom he has blamed for last week’s shooting.

Since then, about 1,000 Colombians have been summarily deported from Venezuela, triggering an exodus of by several thousand more Colombians fearful of being targeted as well.

The U.S. State Department said it was ready to work with other countries “to find a peaceful, humane and enduring solution.”

“As we do … continue reading

Via:: Tico Times