One of Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro’s socialist lawmakers warned on Monday that the military would bomb Colombia should the Trump administration employ a military solution against the regime.
In a TV interview with Venezuela’s ex-Vice President Jose Vincente Rangel, Pedro Carreño, a member of Maduro’s fraudulent lawmaking body known as the “national constituent assembly” and former military general, claimed that the Venezuelan Air Force would bomb key Colombian infrastructure in the event of a U.S.-led invasion.
“Our Sukhois [planes] will have the responsibility of destroying the seven bridges of the Magdalena River that cross from north to south in Colombia, and divide it in two,” Carreño explained.
Carreño also argued for the need to use instruments of cyber warfare developed during the presidency of Hugo Chávez used to hack websites critical of the government such as Dólar Today.
“If this is a war, I think it’s time we take war actions. Chávez endowed the National Armed Forces with excellent electronic warfare units,” he continued. “Where are those units that we do not use to hack those DolarToday pages today? We cannot wait until they knock us down.”
Carreño made the comments following a report from the Associated Press that President Donald Trump pressed his aides on whether to invade Venezuela and topple the Maduro regime to help end the country’s humanitarian crisis and promote regional security.
The idea was allegedly met with strong opposition by Trump’s then-National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster as well as outgoing Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who both said it would undermine U.S relationships in the region.
Last month, Colombia’s President-elect Ivan Duque met with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, seen as one of the architects of the Trump administration’s approach to Cuba and Venezuela, to discuss the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.
Me reuní con el presidente electo de #Colombia @IvanDuque para hablar sobre nuestras relaciones bilaterales y esfuerzos regionales para ayudar al pueblo venezolano a poner fin a su crisis y restaurar su democracia. Los próximos 4 años de Colombia serán prósperos bajo su liderazgo pic.twitter.com/roOoQ7ygyE
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) June 28, 2018
In response to possible threats from the United States, the Maduro regime has pledged to prepare for war and crack down on anyone believed to be a “traitor to the fatherland.”
“This case I will take to the constituent national assembly to open an investigation,” said Maduro’s close ally Diosdado Cabello last week. “Anyone who is considered a traitor to the homeland in case of invasion will be treated as an enemy.”
Maduro warned his soldiers not to “let their guard down” and prepare to “defend the national territory” at a recent independence day on July 5th.
Trump first made the threat of a military solution last July, after Maduro installed his own lawmaking body to gain complete control of the country’s legislature.
“Venezuela is a mess, it is very dangerous mess, and a very sad situation,” he told reporters at the time. “We have many options for Venezuela, I’m not ruling out military options,”