Colombian President Calls for “Sanity” after Venezuela Arms 1 Million Militiamen

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Apr 18, 2017, 3:41 pm
Maduro's plan to arm civilians has come under international fire recently (
Maduro’s plan to arm civilians has come under international fire recently (El Heraldo).


Through his Twitter account, President Juan Manuel Santos said he is concerned about recent statements in which Nicolas Maduro said he will arm 500,000 civilians with rifles; and that the appropriation has already been approved for the upcoming budget. Venezuela has been suffering from crises across the board in recent years, but things have particularly spiraled out of control this year.

Santos made a “call to sanity” and said he had major “concerns” about the possibility of 500,000 men entering the Bolivarian militias as a result of the delivery of arms to civilians. Already 11 countries have spoken out about the dangers of such a possibility, a development which Maduro has described as “interference” with his domestic policy.

The Colombian leader, who until now has spared his criticism of the Venezuelan regime, has gradually, along with Colombia’s foreign minister, been speaking out more regarding the situation in Venezuela. However, he remains an advocate of a negotiated solution to the Venezuelan crisis.

Maduro, on April 16, described as indispensable to begin “the organization and training of a million organized, trained and armed militiamen to defend the peace” according to statements published by Cablenoticias and various media outlets. Maduro aims to defend his regime against civil unrest from a Venezuelan population tired of the political and social unrest, as well as alleged threats from other countries, which he claims seek to destabilize his regime.

Colombia’s reaction was not the only one. Another 11 countries have sent a letter demanding that Maduro schedule regional elections to help resolve Venezuela’s current crisis.

Protesters have promised to take to the streets this week in a massive show of force against the Maduro regime, which has been beset by massive shortages, rampant inflation, widespread crime, and high levels of corruption. Maduro claims an “economic war” coordinated by his geopolitical enemies has destabilized the country, while economists largely point to the inept planning of Venezuela’s ruling socialist party.

Source: Cablenoticias, Cablenoticias, BBC

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Human Rights Foundation Asks UN to Denounce Cuban Regime as Major Human Trafficker

By: Karina Martín - Apr 18, 2017, 3:13 pm

EspañolThe Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba presented an urgent report to the United Nations special rapporteur Maria Grazia Gianmarinaro about human trafficking on the island. The report, which focuses on the massive scale of human trafficking on the Caribbean island, was sent on Friday, April 14, when Gianmarinaro was scheduled to meet with Cuban officials. The report — also presented by the organization Archivo Cuba — warned of the hundreds of ways in which the Cuban government bolsters human trafficking. Read More: Russian State Media Warns of “Nuclear Implications” if US Doesn’t Behave in Syria Read More: Behind Venezuelan Vice President Tareck El-Aissami’s Drug Trafficking Activities "The trafficking business has grown exponentially in the last decade and includes the export of temporary workers, forced immigration, forced labor, sex trafficking and the export of blood and human organs," the report said. "In fact, Cuba, obtains most of its income from the first two." The report also said the dictatorial government "far from fighting human trafficking, is probably one of the largest and most profitable traffickers in the world." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   "What makes the Cuban case unique — and surprising — is that human trafficking is a government-run operation, often with accomplices, participants and prosecutors from around the world," the report said. Meanwhile, Giammarinaro, the first independent expert from the UN Human Rights Council to visit Cuba in the last 10 years, said that there are three major areas of concern: cases of sexual abuse of children by family members, irregular immigration and young people who immigrate with apparently legal employment contracts and are later victims of exploitation. Source: Cubanet.

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