Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News, August 25, 2015
Venezuela’s Socialist president vowed to continue his crackdown on illegal aliens after closing a major border crossing with neighboring Colombia last week and ordering the deportation of 1,000 Colombians living illegally in his country.
The crackdown was triggered by the recent shooting of three Venezuelan soldiers who were searching for smugglers in the state of Tachira, which is located near Venezuela’s 1,400-mile border with Colombia.
“Venezuela won’t tolerate this anymore,” President Nicolas Maduro said during a two-hour press conference on Monday, according to the Associated Press.
He blamed Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for crimes committed in Venezuela by paramilitary gangs, calling his counterpart a “nefarious paramilitary boss” and an “assassin.”
Maduro previously claimed that illegal immigrants were bringing “poverty and misery” with them.
“Who comes over from Colombia? It’s people practically without education,” the Venezuelan president said in a televised address to the nation, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“I’m not offending Colombia, I’m just telling a truth . . . From Colombia, all of the poverty and misery is coming over with a people who are escaping for economic needs and fleeing war.”
Provea, a human rights group headquartered in Caracas, called Maduro’s comments “a dangerous campaign of xenophobia against Colombians residing in Venezuela.”