Venezuela Wants Colombia to Return Three Military Deserters Who Called for Rebellion against Maduro

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Venezuela Wants Colombia to Return Three Military Deserters
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez urged the Colombian government to hand over the聽soldiers. (Twitter)

Espa帽olVenezuela wants Colombia to hand over three former soldiers who crossed the border after allegedly deserting.

Venezuela Foreign Minister聽Delcy Rodriguez urged Colombia President Juan Maunel Santos this weekend to return聽the three lieutenants, as well as to not deny聽them shelter.

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Who are the deserters?

Jose Alejandro Michael Sanchez, Angel David Mogollon Medina and Alfredo Jose Rodriguez 鈥斅爐he first military deserters in Venezuela since the start聽of President Nicol谩s聽Maduro’s regime in 2013.

In April, several Venezuelan media outlets聽released聽a video showing the three lieutenants refusing to聽acknowledge Maduro as Commander in Chief. The聽officers also stated they did not recognize the legitimacy of the military command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces, while criticizing certain sectors of the opposition for聽forming聽secret agreements聽with the dictatorial regime.

They said they believed the repressive actions of the Venezuelan government could lead the country to a civil war, and invited other members of the armed forces to get rid of their passive attitude toward Maduro’s administration.

The escape

According to Foreign Minister Rodriguez, the three soldiers fled to Colombia in March and have applied for political asylum.

 

She聽urged her Colombian counterpart Maria Angela Holgu铆n to hand over the deserters. She also allegedly approached the Colombian Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas to return聽the officers.

“In the interest of the best cooperation between the two countries,” she said, “we insist on聽the return of these military deserters.”

Rodriguez added聽that “political asylum is not guaranteed to army officers or deserters.”

Her statements come amid difficult political tension between Colombia and Venezuela. Maduro has accused Colombia of being a failed state, and that the peace process with the guerrilla聽group FARC couldn’t have happened without Hugo Chavez.

Meanwhile, Venezuela remains in a political, economic and humanitarian crisis.

So far, the Colombian government has not responded to requests for the return of the soldiers.

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