Colombian authorities have banned over 200 Venezuelan officials and supporters of President Nicolas Maduro from entering the country amid the escalating political crisis in Venezuela, according to Christian Kruger, the head of Migración Colombia, the country’s immigration authority.
This decision had been taken as part of a deal reached by the Lima Group, of which Colombia is a member, aimed at countering the Venezuelan government, the official added,
According to the report by La Republica on Wednesday, Kruger said the campaign against Venezuela currently included measures that had been tentatively agreed upon, while the scale of the sanctions might be increased.
La Republica added that Venezuelan national Ronald Ramirez was the first person denied entry to Colombia after he landed in the Barranquilla airport.
Maduro has repeatedly accused Colombia of plotting to overthrow him. On Wednesday, the Maduro suggested U.S. President Donald Trump had hired Colombian assassins to kill him.
Venezuela is currently facing a political crisis and large anti-government protests. Opposition leader Juan Guaido has declared himself as the country’s interim president, drawing support from the United States, Colombia and the rest of the Lima Group of countries – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.
The UK, Germany, France, and Spain declared on Saturday their intention to recognize Juan Guaido as the country’s interim president if Venezuela does not announce presidential elections within eight days.
Maduro, who called Guaido a “US puppet” and saying Venezuela is “the victim of a US conspiracy”, referring to US Vice President Mike Pence promising Guaido “full American support” the day before he declared himself Venezuela’s new head of state.
Supporting Maduro are Russia and China, as well as, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey and Iran. have given Maduro’s government full support.