A video was revealed on Sunday showing former Colombian president, Alvaro Uribe, telling a group of listeners that Venezuelan soldiers need to “remove” President Nicolas Maduro from office.
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The recording was released just 24 hours after two air drones carrying explosives were detonated above President Maduro and several members of his administration on Saturday as the head of state addressed a large crowd at the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard in Caracas. Maduro and other Venezuelan officials are saying that right-wing factions in the United States, Venezuelan and Colombia are behind the drone bombs.
In the video the former president and current Congress member says in English: "I have said this in public, I have said that the Venezuelan soldiers need to remove that government (of Nicolas Maduro), not to establish a military government, but to call for a rapid transition, with democratic and transparent elections.
"When I say that the United States should help promote that decision, it is in private, for us," Uribe tells the small group of U.S. business leaders at his home in the Rio Negro, Antioquia on Saturday, hours before the failed attack on Venezuela’s head of state.
Later on Sunday, Uribe repeated what he said at his home over his Twitter account: “Venezuelan soldiers need to remove a Maduro and his regimen and hold transparent elections.” He added in his tweet, “a new democratic gov in order to stop the deepening of the humanitarian crisis and avoid terrorism and the risk of more violence.”
It is not the first time that the right-wing Colombian politician has sought military intervention to overthrow Maduro from his presidential post.
In August 2017 during a congressional session Uribe told his fellow lawmakers: "We think that the Armed Forces of Venezuela, instead of continuing to assassinate the people, they should demand that the ‘tyrant’ step aside. Some say that would be a coup, is not it?"
Uribe is himself under investigation by Colombia’s Supreme Court for bribery and witness tampering in a case against him for allegedly masterminding a violent paramilitary group in his home department of Antioquia while he served there a governor between 1995 and 1997.
The former president has politically groomed incoming president, Ivan Duque, also of the Democratic Center party. The two have long been opposed to the 2016 peace accords reached by FARC and outgoing president Manuel Santos. Duque will be sworn in on Tuesday, August 7.
Colombian media added that the Congress member intends to hold another private meeting at home with US lawmakers attending the this week’s inauguration in Bogota.
President Manuel Santos Alvaro Uribe Colombian President Ivan Duque FARC Right wing paramilitaries Democratic Center party Venezuela Destabilization in Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro Drone attack Nicolas Maduro