In Colombia, there’s been a major defection from the peace agreement between the government and FARC rebels. Colombian president Ivan Duque accuses Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro of giving aid and comfort to the rearming fraction of the rebels.
Maduro denies the charge and defies the U.S., chatting with Putin in Moscow while Trump denounces him at the UN. “A human puppet,” the American president called his Venezuelan counterpart. Trump also met with leaders of the political opposition after pledging to Venezuelans suffering from a national economic collapse, that all Americans were with them and that tons of American aid is waiting for permission to come across the Venezuelan border.
Meanwhile, Trump roughly tripled the U.S. financial contribution to the opposition led by former House Speaker Juan Guaido to more than $50 million, although no one feels Maduro is any closer to removal.
His country though is hollowing out as more and more people flee. For most of them, the first stop is Colombia, a country next door, a place where well over a million Venezuelan refugees have stayed, transforming some parts of the country and complicating things almost everywhere.
Joshua Goodman is the Associated Press (AP) News Director for the Andean region of South America, based in Bogota. Based in Bogota, Goodman will lead video, text and photo operations for the AP in Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.