Bipartisan [sic] violence has killed more than 70 people this year and has spurred an increase in migration, mainly from Colombian residents of Venezuela.
Instead of allowing Colombian mediation, Nicolas Maduro claimed Venezuela’s supremacy over its neighbor, stating that Colombian territory began its history in Venezuelan lands.
“We were a single republic, Colombia was founded here in Orinoco. The people of Guayana are the fathers of Colombia, our grandparents founded Colombia,” insisted Maduro during an act with workers in the southern state of Bolivar.
The increasingly authoritarian Venezuelan president was referring to the time of the historical republic of South America, Gran Colombia, which included territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador.
“President [of Colombia Juan Manuel] Santos must ask for my blessing. Bow down, bow to your father. I am your father, Santos,” said Maduro, calling on Santos to “behave himself” and leave behind the “evil” against Venezuela.