Maduro calls Santos traitor, accuses him of destroying Colombia
(FILE) A handout photo made available by Miraflores Palace shows Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaking during a Government meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, Jul. 17, 2017. EPA/Miraflores Palace/HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
(FILE) President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos participates in a business forum Colombia-Cuba in La Havana, Cuba, Jul. 17, 2017. EPA/Ernesto Mastrascusa
(FILE) People participate in an opposition gathering held in favor of the popular consultation to be held Jul. 16, in Caracas, Venezuela, Jul. 15, 2017. EPA/CRISTIAN HERNANDEZ
Caracas, Jul 18 (efe-epa).- The President of Venezuela Tuesday called his Colombian counterpart "a traitor" and accused him of having "destroyed" life in Colombia after Santos urged Venezuela to suspend the Constituent Assembly.
President Nicolas Maduro said at the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas, during a speech transmitted in mandatory radio and television channels that Juan Manuel Santos "is playing a truly terrible role in history", adding "he will be dried up for centuries being a traitor."
Maduro also said that Santos and his administration have left "the greatest disaster that has ever happened in Colombia" and that this opinion is shared by all political forces in Colombia and the world.
"Santos then shared his opinion as if he were ruling Venezuela. He does not govern Colombia, he has destroyed the social, political, moral, economic life of Colombia, " said Maduro, adding "he thinks he is the president of Venezuela but a Bogotan oligarch will never rule or govern the land of Simon Bolivar."
Maduro criticized Santos as a response to the Colombian president's criticism of the election of representatives to a Constituent National Assembly scheduled for Jul. 30 in Venezuela, and reiterated that the peace accords between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) could happen because of Chavism.
"Get hands off Venezuela. Go home, Juan Manuel Santos," added the Venezuelan leader.
President Santos on Monday asked Maduro to suspend the Jul. 30 elections following the unofficial referendum called by the opposition on Jul. 16, in which, according to the plebiscite's organizers, 7.5 million people voted against the Constituent Assembly.
The United States also warned Venezuela of sanctions if the country continued with the plan to elect a Constituent Assembly.
Therefore, Maduro activated Tuesday the Defense Council of the Nation to seek action against this "imperial threat".
The opposition of Venezuela and the international community criticized that the Constituent Assembly was established with a previous referendum, as required by the Constitution, which is seen an attempt to "consolidate the dictatorship" in the Caribbean country.