Last week, Colombian President Ivan Duque urged Bogota’s allies to continue the “diplomatic siege” against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. In January, the European Union announced that it no longer sees Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido as the country’s ‘interim president’, downgrading his status to ‘privileged interlocutor’.
Accusing Madrid of protecting Leopoldo Lopez, a Venezuelan opposition figure and fugitive who is wanted in his home country for criminal association and public incitement to violence, Maduro suggested that “it would be very easy for Spanish intelligence to investigate all the complaints and evidence that the National Assembly has provided [against Lopez]. It would be simple because the technical and investigative capabilities of Spain’s police are very strong, but they don’t want to do this, and protect a terrorist.”
Maduro recalled Lopez’ alleged role in organizing Operation Gideon, the brazen May 2020 mercenary plot to kidnap the president and take him to the US for prosecution on trumped up drug charges, from the Spanish Embassy in Caracas, and pointed to the Colombian National Intelligence Directorate’s alleged involvement in the preparation and financing of the plot.
The Venezuelan president went on to accuse…