Venezuela’s neighbors accuse Maduro of protecting ‘terrorist groups’ in Colombia

Venezuelan soldiers who deserted to Colombia demonstrate in support of opposition leader Juan Guaido in his campaign to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government, on the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, on April 30, 2019. (AFP / Schneyder Mendoza)
Updated 04 May 2019

Venezuela’s neighbors accuse Maduro of protecting ‘terrorist groups’ in Colombia

  • Maduro is accused of protecting Colombian ELN rebels, who have set off explosives at a Colombian military base on April 27
  • The Lima Group, which includes Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, want Venezuelans to continue efforts to keep fighting for democracy

LIMA, Peru: The Lima Group regional bloc on Friday accused the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro of protecting “terrorist groups” in Colombia, keeping up pressure days after an attempted military uprising failed to dislodge Maduro from power.
The bloc, a dozen countries in the Americas that meet regularly to discuss Venezuela, did not provide details on the groups in Colombia that it alleged Maduro was protecting. But it said in its joint statement that it rejected any attempt to assassinate Colombian President Ivan Duque or undermine regional security.
Duque said on Twitter on April 27 that explosives set off at a military base had been orchestrated from Venezuela, where he alleged Maduro was protecting Colombian ELN rebels.
Maduro’s government did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Maduro often accuses the right-wing Duque, the Lima Group and the United States of plotting to overthrow his socialist government.
The Lima Group, which includes Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, reiterated on Friday that it opposes military intervention to remove Maduro from power, and encouraged Venezuelans to continue efforts to keep fighting for democracy.
“This process must be done peacefully and respecting the constitutional order in Venezuela,” Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio told journalists after meeting with his counterparts in a Lima Group meeting in Peru.
The Lima Group backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s push to oust Maduro on Tuesday, which failed to trigger the military defections needed to wrest control of key institutions.
The Lima Group said it wants Maduro’s ally Cuba to join efforts end the political crisis in Venezuela, and called for an urgent meeting with the EU-backed International Contact Group, which has placed more emphasis on dialogue to find a solution.

 


Explosion as fire breaks out at Iranian industrial complex

Updated 13 July 2020

Explosion as fire breaks out at Iranian industrial complex

  • Six storage tanks had caught fire, including the one that exploded, an Iranian official said

Iranian police are investigating after a fire broke out at an industrial complex in northeast Iran where gas condensate storage tanks are sited, one of which exploded, the Mehr news agency reported on Monday.
Javad Jahandoust, the fire chief at the Kavian Fariman industrial complex, some 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of the city of Mashhad, was quoted as saying six storage tanks had caught fire, including the one that exploded.
He said the fire was under control and there were no casualties, but police were investigating the cause.
There have been several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June.
On Sunday, the official IRNA news agency reported a fire at a petrochemical facility in southwest Iran, which was blamed on an oil leak. There were no casualties.