Hmm: Venezuela-Colombia border shootout

Hmm: Venezuela-Colombia border shootout
Canoes on the Arauca River. (Image: Twitter, @perezaraucano)

[Ed. – Not the usual suspects or the usual place.  We can hope this won’t become a trend.]

The Venezuelan navy violated the sovereignty of neighboring Colombia on Saturday night, as armed navy sailors crossed the border by the Colombian town of Arauquita, storming a night club and terrorizing beachgoers.

While the Venezuelan government has yet to make any official statement on the matter, Colombian officials report that armed Venezuelan servicemen appeared to be chasing suspects aboard a canoe on the Arauca River, an official border crossing between the two nations. In chasing the suspects, the Venezuelan sailors crossed onto Colombian land and entered an establishment called “Beach Bar” (“Playa Bar”), in an area known as Beach B. Here the soldiers came across Colombian policemen, who exchanged fire with the Venezuelans until they returned to their side of the border. No injuries were reported. …

The Colombian Foreign Ministry…announced it was in contact with Venezuelan officials in Apure State, where the border crossing took place, hoping to enhance security on the border and prevent Venezuelans from crossing it again.

Apure is the third state in which Venezuelan socialist President Nicolás Maduro has forced a hard closure of the border, announcing in September that alleged smuggling by Colombian criminals was damaging Venezuela’s economy to such an extent that his government would have to halt all traffic between the borders of both nations. Maduro previously shut down the borders of Zulia and Táchira states, the latter a hub for peaceful, anti-socialist protests throughout 2014.

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