Venezuelan Military Deserters adrift in Colombia.

Orinoco Tribune | March 18, 2019.


Uploaded by TeleSUR English Published on Mar 18, 2019.

After a group of military deserters from Venezuela denounced the abandonment by the Colombian authorities, the right wing Venezuelan politicians and the Agency for Refugees of the United Nations (UNHCR), the supposed “ambassador” appointed by the deputy Juan Guaidó in Colombia, Humberto Calderón Berti, spoke about it.

Through a statement, Calderón Berti caught up with the statements and claims of the troops and said their problems will be addressed. He even stressed that these “have been given temporary assistance consisting of accommodations and food.

This Monday, March 18, a multidisciplinary meeting will be held with national and local authorities (from Colombia), as well as with the Embassy of Venezuela (that means him), to advance in the search for a definitive solution for the needs of these young soldiers and their families”, details the letter.

The Venezuelan defector in question, let’s remember, told the media of the neighboring country that they were given a maximum period of four days to exit from the facility they have been using in the border area, specifically in Cúcuta. They also stressed that in exchange they were offered 350 thousand Colombian pesos (US$ 112), a mattress and bed-sheets for each one.

We are adrift, we do not have the support of anyone. We want Juan Guaidó to come face-to-face”, said the Venezuelan Army’s second sergeant Luis González Hernández, who served as spokesperson for the group. SOURCE

The Venezuelan military and police personnel who had transferred their loyalties to the "interim president" in February and had crossed the border into Cucuta, Colombia, were being hosted in hotels there at the expense of the insurgency and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Several of these defectors were accompanied by their families. Some days ago they were evicted from the hotels because according to some sources, no funds were forthcoming to continue paying for their accommodation. The complaint by some of the deserters is that they have been used by the "interim president" who has ruined their lives. Others express a continuing willingness to support the coup.

“You must go. Leave in 3 days. Here are 350 thousand pesos and a mat for each one,” 
this is what they said today to the Venezuelan military deserters in Cucuta. 
They no longer have any use. The time of your scene is over. The curtain goes down.”

Meanwhile the Colombian Government, in agreement with the "Interim Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," has devised a plan to integrate these persons into the civilian life of Colombia.  A translation of the the official communication on this matter from the Colombian National Unit for Disaster Risk Management is presented below.

UNGRD
Unidad National para la Gestion de Riesgo de Desastres
Disaster Risk Management in Colombia
Sistema Nacional de Gestion del Riesgo de Desastres.
Bogotá,
05/14/2019

Translation
Colombia establishes service plan for ex-servicemen and ex-Venezuelan policemen who are in the national territory.

The Government of Colombia, through a memorandum of understanding with the Interim Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, established a scheme for addressing former members of the Venezuelan Armed Forces and Police located in the Colombian territory, in order that they can develop a life as civilians and in complete normality while the conditions in their native country allow them to return to exercise their functions in the public force.

In this regard, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a representative of the Government of Colombia headed by Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo and the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Colombia, Humberto Calderón Berti, a memorandum was signed, where they will coordinate inter-institutional way, between the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management, Chancellery, the Ministry of National Defense, Migration Colombia, the National Service of Learning -SENA-, the Ministry of Education and other entities considered necessary, the actions for the attention

Thus, under this memorandum, the Colombian National Government will determine the beneficiaries based on the information collated with Migración Colombia, which will include its family nuclei, this with the purpose of determining the total number of people who are under these conditions in the country.

Later and after the process of validation and updating of the information, the former members of the Military and Police Forces of Venezuela who are in Colombia and who meet the conditions set forth in the memorandum will have access to the PEP, a support for basic assistance, training. Appropriate efforts will be made to find quotas in the education system for minors who require it.

Under this line, the basic care actions will be coordinated with the support of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management.

Also, through the National Service of Learning, SENA, complementary training will be done according to the institutional offer in each region.

Migration Colombia, for its part, will issue a work permit for up to two years, which will authorize them and them families to be able to exercise a remunerated work activity that allows them to maintain and support them while they remain in Colombia.

Finally, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs inter-institutional efforts will be made to include infants in the education system depending on the quotas in each of the regions.

It is important to clarify that because of the quality and training of former members of the Armed Forces and Police of Venezuela and for reasons of national security for Colombia, they require special attention, which also indicates that these people cannot exercise military functions, nor police or security or defense, they cannot carry their weapons or wear their uniforms, and after benefiting from the benefits implemented by the Government of Colombia they will assume the status of civilians. SOURCE



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