Washington’s favorite Venezuelan opposition leader exposes links with Colombian paramilitary and narco networks
While the US and its allies glorify Leopoldo López as a new MLK, the US-backed Venezuelan opposition collaborates with Colombia’s narco-affiliated, death squad-sponsoring former President Álvaro Uribe.
by Ben Norton
Part 5 - Leopoldo López meets with Colombia’s Álvaro Uribe, friend of drug cartels and death squads
But the photo op in Cúcuta was just the beginning of Leopoldo López’s PR campaign in Colombia. On December 15, López tweeted a photo of himself with far-right former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez.
Uribe is the most powerful politician in Colombia, the beneficiary of extensive and well-documented links to the drug cartels and death squads that hold sway in the country.
In 2018, the National Security Archive released declassified US State Department cables that showed Washington was aware its favorite ally in Bogotá had collaborated for decades with drug traffickers and paramilitaries, using cocaine money to fund his political campaigns.
A 2018 New York Times investigation acknowledged that a feared death squad used an Uribe family ranch as its headquarters, planning assassinations, kidnappings, and other crimes on their land. Álvaro’s brother Santiago Uribe was imprisoned on charges of directing a paramilitary group, called the Doce Apóstoles (12 Apostles).
The Venezuelan right-wing’s kingpin apparently had no problem with Uribe’s lengthy list of crimes, because he praised the Colombian leader in his tweet.
Uribe is “a good friend in the struggle for the freedom of Venezuela,” López insisted. He also made it clear that this drug-linked, death squad-sponsored Colombian mafioso is helping sponsor regime-change plots in Venezuela.
“We spoke about the urgent need to get out of the dictatorship to put an end to the suffering of our people,” López wrote.