The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, accused Colombian President Iván Duque on Wednesday of promoting “xenophobia” against migrants from the Caribbean country, which, he said, “has led to the murder and disappearance of thousands of Venezuelans in Colombia.”
“Who has promoted this xenophobic consciousness of hatred, of exclusion, which has led to the murder and disappearance of thousands of Venezuelans in Colombia? Who? The Colombian State, Mr. Iván Duque, the Colombian paramilitaries, the Colombian right (…) in complicity with the extremist right wing of Julio Borges, (Juan) Guaidó and Leopoldo López, ”Maduro said during a government act.
Maduro reiterated that his government will file a complaint with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Duque for the “persecution” and “extermination” of Venezuelan migrants, after blaming him for the murder of two young people in the neighboring country.
The accusation against Duque will include, according to the president, the death of two young people – one minor and the other 18 years old – last Friday, after being arrested when, allegedly, they robbed a shop in Tibú, in the department of Norte de Santander, and the disappearance of “more than 860 Venezuelan migrants” in Colombia.
Maduro explained that the complaint is due to “the persecution of Venezuelan migrants, for the promotion of hatred, for the disappeared, for forced disappearances, for the thousands of Venezuelans murdered in Colombia, for hatred.”
“The State has decided to take action on the matter and an accusation for crimes against humanity will be made against Iván Duque, before the ICC,” he reaffirmed.
In this sense, the Venezuelan president called on Venezuelan migrants to return to their country.
“Wherever they are, their land, their homeland opens its arms to receive them when they want to return,” said the president, who stressed that the “Plan Vuelta a la Patria” will be reinforced to return Venezuelan citizens in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Chili.
On October 7, Maduro promised to reinforce, during the months of November and December, the plan that he launched in September 2018, to facilitate the return of migrants who have suffered xenophobia in receiving countries.