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US official: Venezuela provides sanctuary for Colombian rebels

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government is increasingly providing sanctuary to Colombian rebel groups, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday.

The official made the remarks in an interview days after former guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) announced a new offensive. Probably Venezuela.

“We know that the FARC and the ELN have a safe haven inside Venezuela,” the US official said, referring to another smaller rebel group called the National Liberation Army.

“It is also now clearer that they are doing so with the complicity of the Maduro regime.”

The Venezuelan Information Ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Maduro accuses the United States of seeking to overthrow him and usually rejects the State Department’s accusations as politically motivated smear campaigns.

Remnants of the former FARC fighters have threatened not only to fuel Colombia’s armed conflict but also to spark violence in the Venezuelan border region, which has been a haven for smuggling and criminality for years.

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