Venezuela condemned the “arbitrary detention” of two of its military personnel by Colombia and has demanded their immediate release to avoid unnecessary tensions between the two countries.
The Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB) of Venezuela has denounced the “arbitrary detention” of two of its members by Colombian authorities in the town of Cúcuta, in the department of Norte de Santander at the Colombia-Venezuela border.
According to a statement published on Tuesday, September 28, by the FANB on Twitter, Wilter Alexis González Miranda and Gabriel Antonio Veloz Varela, two Venezuelan sergeants were apprehended in Cúcuta, while off duty, and holding permits.
LA FANB es una institución basada en valores éticos de honestidad, justicia e integridad entre muchos otros, con un norte invariable que es la consolidación de la Paz; es por ello que exigimos a cualquier Gobierno extranjero que respete a nuestros hombres y mujeres FANB. 1/2 https://t.co/PodAbBIbcO
— Prensa FANB (@PrensaFANB) September 28, 2021
The statement also indicated that the two FANB members are being accused of trafficking arms and ammunition.
Stating that Venezuela demands the immediate release of the two FANB members, the statement read, “without solid arguments [Colombia] intends to incriminate our troops, to create unnecessary tensions… We reiterate that we do not endorse the allegations, and demand the release of our military professionals.”
The statement emphasized that the 5.56 mm caliber cartridges allegedly seized from the two FANB personnel are not part of the weaponry assigned to the Bolivarian National Guard (GNB).
Colombia and Venezuela share a 2,219 kilometer border. This border area has become a bastion for Colombian armed groups operating in the area and trying to access Venezuelan territory for destabilization and drug trafficking purposes.
Since March, the Venezuelan army has carried out an operation against Colombian gangs that are trying to establish themselves in the Venezuelan border state of Apure.
Featured image: Members of the Strategic Operational Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Force (CEOFANB). Photo: HispanTV
Translation: Orinoco Tribune