Tag Venezuela as sponsor of terrorism: Colombia's request to United States
- Colombia made the request citing last month's attack on the President
- Colombia accused Venezuela of protecting dissident fighters
- Antony Blinken spoke to the Colombian VP earlier this week
Colombia urged the United States authorities to tag South America's Venezuela as a sponsor of terrorism while citing last month's attack on President Ivan Duque's helicopter. Colombia accused Venezuela of protecting dissident fighters who allegedly carried out the attack.
At an event where US ambassador Philip Goldberg was present, Colombian leader Duque requested "a declaration on the part of the United States of (Venezuela) as a state sponsor of terrorism", according to reports from AFP.
Last week, Bogota said the attack was planned from Venezuela by dissidents who distanced themselves from the FARC's 2016 peace deal with the government, and a former Colombian army officer.
Duque's helicopter was approaching Cucuta airport on a flight from Sardinata on June 25 when several shots -- apparently from rifles -- were fired at it.
The president was flying with Defense Minister Diego Molano, Interior Minister Daniel Palacios and other officials.
The aircraft carried crucial officials of the Colombian government, including Interior Minister Daniel Palacios and Defense Minister Diego Molano, according to reports from AFP.
Even though the incident did not cause any injuries, the helicopter's main blade and tail were reportedly hit.
Molano later announced the arrest of some of the alleged perpetrators, adding: "It is clear that this attack against the president... was planned from Venezuela", according to reports from AFP.
The two South American nations have not shared diplomatic relations since 2019, since the United States, under former US President Donald Trump, and Colombia collectively rejected the legitimacy of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.
The two countries instead acknowledged opposition leader Juan Guaido as the Venezuelan leader.
Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, spoke to Marta Lucia Ramirez, the Colombian Vice President on Monday.
In the telephonic conversation, Blinken "emphasized the importance of defending and advancing democracy in the region, particularly in Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba", according to reports from AFP quoting Ned Price, the spokesperson for the State Department.