On Friday, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that Colombia will not recognize Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly, nor any decisions that the assembly makes. He said that the assembly was illegal and therefore all its decision were by default invalid.
“I don’t agree with this Constituent Assembly, and neither does the international community. (…) This Constituent Assembly has a spurious origin, and therefore, we won’t be able to recognize its decisions either,“, the president announced while attending meetings in the coastal city of Barranquilla.
This week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro responded, angrily telling the country’s state television channel that Santos is a puppet of the United States and his statements were ridiculous
“Juan Manuel Santos has exceeded the limit for ridiculous”, the president told state television. “What does the United States know about Juan Manuel Santos that he wants to get in good with them? What secrets do they have? Could it be that cocaine production has increased 37% in the last several years? What secret do they know about Juan Manuel Santos, who is so interested in gaining good favor with them so that the United States’ empire to forgive him?”
When asked about the statements by Maduro, Santos simply said that he will continue to support the people of Venezuela and help to find a peaceful, quick and democratic solution to the ongoing crisis.
Maduro has often used Colombia’s relationship with the United States to rally his supporters against both countries. He has also threatened to unveil secrets uncovered during his participation as mediator in the FARC peace accords, telling state television, “Santos, you messed with Venezuela. Now you’ll pay for it.”