A Brazilian newspaper caused quite a stir Monday when it said the Colombian government would support military intervention of Venezuela at the behest of Brazil’s far-right president-elect Jair Bolsonaro.
Journalist Sylvia Colombo of the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo cited an anonymous Colombian official, who reportedly said, “If Bolsonaro helps topple Maduro with military intervention, he will have Colombia’s support.”
Colombia’s Foreign Ministry responded by denying the report at a Tuesday press conference.
“The Foreign Ministry, in the name of the Colombian government, rejects and denies the allegations that have been published by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo today (Monday) regarding a supposed and non-existent suggestion from Colombia to the president-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, to topple Nicolás Maduro’s government with military intervention,” said Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo in a statement.
The Foreign Minister added during Tuesday’s presser that Colombian President Iván Duque will keep hold of traditional, non-interventionalist policies. In recent years, Colombia’s relationship with neighboring Venezuela has turned icy as Maduro has repeatedly attacked Colombia for being involved in purported conspiracies to undermine his government. Maduro even pointed the finger at former president Juan Manuel Santos for the alleged drone assassination attempt that took place in August.
Bolsonaro’s victory, helped in large part by the same class of ruling elites who jailed his would-be opposition on the left, is expected to lead to a military revival in Brazil. The president-elect constantly relied on bashing Venezuela in the lead-up to his election day win on Sunday.
Colombia is currently seeing an average of 5,000 Venezuelan migrants come into its country per day.