Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has condemned Colombian President Manuel Santos' vow to side with the United States in its opposition to the government of President Nicolas Maduro and Venezuela's looming presidential elections.
Arreaza posted on Twitter on Wednesday that the "Colombian oligarchy in power" was "submissive" to Washington, which "still generates pain, wars, displaced communities, refugees, extreme poverty, paramilitarism, contraband, drug production, drug trafficking, narcopolitics."
The Venezuelan official was responding to comments made by Santos on Tuesday, when he said the Lima Group – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico and several other Latin American countries – would refuse to recognize the results of Venezuela's April 22 presidential elections.
The news follows last week's confirmation that incumbent President Nicolas Maduro has been named the official candidate for the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).
Maduro, 55, who narrowly won elections in 2013 to replace former President Hugo Chavez, is the favorite to win the presidential vote.
Santos claims Colombia and other countries in the region are "gravely affected" by the "broken" Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela: "The return of democracy is urgent in Venezuela because its people are suffering," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, meanwhile, has said he's hoping for the "re-establishment of democracy in Venezuela."