«If the dictatorship does not end, the m igracion does not stop».
Thus from blunt was the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, on the situation in Venezuela.
In an interview with the BBC, Duque stressed, however, that Colombia did not support any military action against the Government of Nicolás Maduro and asked insist all the diplomatic formulas to accelerate the exit of the Venezuelan President.
Venezuelan exodus in Ecuador: the desperation of those who defy the restrictions and venture through illegal routes the Colombian head of State also said that his country not should close the doors to the Venezuelan immigrants, but said that it needed from the international help to be able to continue providing assistance.
Asked if he was considered a «puppet» of former President Álvaro Uribe, as many in the opposition, he said vehemently that «the President of Colombia soy yo».
Duke said that he did not believe that it would be a war between the Colombian Government and the FARC, but insisted that the peace accord signed by his predecessor, Juan Manuel Santos, is not working in parts of the country, and said that it was required to amend it.
4 things that may surprise you about Iván Duque, the President-elect of Colombia specifically stated that the FARC leaders convicted of crimes against humanity should not to compete in the elections until they had not paid their sentences.
Then BBC World presents an excerpt from the interview, whose full version was televised on August 23.
Made Image captionLa interview with Duke the journalist of the BBC Stephen people, of the program Hard Talk.Empecemos with the crisis in Venezuela, a huge humanitarian disaster that is having an impact on the region. There are people calling the greater humanitarian crisis in Latin America has experienced. Is Colombia having difficulties to deal with this situation?
What is happening in Venezuela is the consequence of a dictatorship that has derailed the independent powers, which has derailed the freedom of the press, which has abused its entire population and that has destroyed the economy.
That is why there are thousands of people trying to find some hope somewhere and your first choice is Colombia. We now have more than 800,000 of Venezuelan citizens in Colombia and we must support them.
But we need more strong action of all Latin American in the OAS countries so we can have a temporary protected status with which it can support this population.
Copyright of the imagenGETTY IMAGESImage captionDuque is necessary to get rid of Maduro.Vuelvo the question, right now with these 800,000 people, some say they are already a million, and could reach one much larger number. Right now, would you accept that Colombia is struggling to deal with the situation?
I believe that Colombia is facing an important situation with what is happening. But I think that we must be very articulated in policy terms and in terms of solidarity. In terms of policy, I believe that we are doing the right thing, which is to provide health, education and humanitarian support.
And in terms of humanitarian assistance, we need to have more action with the help of other countries. Let me tell you something, the most important thing at the moment is that if the dictatorship does not complete, the migration does not stop.
But, using all the necessary diplomatic approaches we have to isolate the regime and ask for free elections so that people have hope again and return to Venezuela in the coming years.
Venezuela: what is the plan of Nicolas Maduro against hyperinflation and what think those who believe that it will be worse do is you asking for a change of regime in Venezuela?
I think many countries are doing it and we are also asking that. We have not recognized the most recent elections in Venezuela. Why? Because the dictator manipulated the democratic system, the apparent democratic system, to continue in power.
The Colombian Government has not recognized that regime and many countries in Latin America have done the same.
Copyright of the imagenGETTY IMAGESImage captionCientos of thousands of Venezuelans have migrated to Colombia. can categorically tell me now that Colombia will never close the border to Venezuelans?
We have never done that and should not do so, but we must face the fact that now Colombia itself will not be the solution. We need support from other countries.
We also have to make a call for international action, to the international diplomatic action, allowing the departure of the regime so that can have free elections in Venezuela, and these elections returned to people the confidence to return to Venezuela.
Which such intervention are you willing to support? The other day you had a meeting with the Secretary of American Defense, Jim Mattis, also met with United States Ambassador at the UN, who said after that «it will come the moment that will have to deal with ripe». Are are you, Americans, and others talking about a direct intervention to get rid of ripe?
I have never spoken of military actions. What I said is that we have to use all diplomatic measures. Last year I had denounced to Nicolas Maduro at the International Criminal Court with the support of 76 senators from Colombia and 50 members of the Chilean Parliament.
Now I am asking other Presidents of Latin America to support the complaint submitted by the Secretary general of the OAS against Maduro.
I also believe that we have to argue before the United Nations Security Council so that we can demonstrate that Maduro is giving hostel to Colombian terrorist groups.
The Odyssey to find the sovereign Bolívar on the first working day of the new currency of Venezuela people want to know what will do you about the peace agreement with the FARC reached its predecessor (the former President Juan Manuel Santos). You objected to that agreement and people now wonder if you cast off that agreement. Will it do so?
I always said it would not destroy the agreement, we have to make the appropriate amendments so that we have a lasting peace in Colombia.
Do you mean that? That we can put an end to the expansion of illicit crops, which we can punish people who have hidden weapons or hidden assets that should be delivered to victims.
And what is also required is that persons convicted of crimes against humanity should have to leave their posts in the Congress while they fulfilled their sentences, but the Party (of the FARC) can replace these people so that they don’t lose the seats MPs who already have; that’s consistency.
Copyright of the imagenGETTY IMAGESImage captionA If Uribe puppet, feel Duke responds blunt: «I am the President». His effort to change the nature of the agreement, to modify it, I suppose that it reflected what critics describe as their dependence on the support and the backing of former President Álvaro Uribe. He hated that agreement, still hating that agreement and some in Colombia see you as their puppet.
I am the President of Colombia. I was elected with the largest turnout in the history of Colombia and I want to serve to all the Colombian people.
And what all the Colombian people want is a lasting peace. And to have lasting peace we need to have justice and justice needs legality.
The International Crisis Group, a respected group of international consultants, says that if you still with its efforts to amend the agreement, «it could trigger fresh violence, it could hinder the expansion of the authority of the State and the activity economic legal to these rural areas abandoned long ago, and it might fuel the growth of illegal armed groups». I.e., Colombia could sink into violence that we saw earlier.
Unfortunately, a year and a half since the agreement was signed, we have seen an exponential growth in the illicit crops, we have seen violence increase in the territory and create a threat to the Colombian population… are you saying that the agreement of? is peace not working?
In some parts of the country, no. That has been recognized even by people who supported before…
Let’s look at the facts…
Let me, I end the argument. When we see what is happening in Colombia today, what we all want desperately is to have a lasting peace, and to have it we have to amend the things that are not working well.
Copyright of the imagenGETTY IMAGESImage captionDuque does not believe that it will back the war with the FARC to Colombia. What do you that is the probability that Colombia sinking again into a war between the State and the guerrillas of the FARC?
I do not see that that is going to happen, because in fact I said from the first day of my Government, that all members of the FARC that they are part of the base of the FARC, who have demobilized, who have reinserted (in the law), we are going to give support We are going to help you find a productive activity, are going to give psychological assistance and want social investment to continue attending the regions that have been affected by the violence. And we have to live up to those promises.
You are the most recent President coming into office declaring he will confront the drug traffickers. He says that it will require more manual eradication of crops, which will return to aerial fumigation. But all this has already been proposed and never works in Colombia.
What you need is consistency in policy. This means having a State policy.
1999-2012, 180,000 hectares of illicit crops reduced to 50,000. Today we have more than 200,000. What do you need do? Have a comprehensive program that includes eradication and substitution but also has to do with the promotion of entrepreneurship and search for productive activities.