The State of Venezuela podcast

Ep. 15 | War Zone at the Colombia-Venezuela Border (with Cody Weddle)

15 Sekunden vorwärts
15 Sekunden vorwärts

Over the past month, Venezuela’s military has launched an offensive against irregular Colombian armed groups in the western state of Apure. About eight Venezuelan soldiers have died during the operations, which have caused over 5,000 people from the area to flee across the border into Colombia.


These armed groups include dissident members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a Marxist paramilitary insurgency operating in Colombia for decades until they signed a 2016 peace treaty with the Colombian government. These dissident groups rejected the peace treaty and have been operating in clandestine rebel units accommodated by the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro.


In this episode, we're joined by Cody Weddle, an investigative freelance journalist based in Colombia who has been reporting for ABC affiliate WPLG Local 10 News from the Colombian border town of Arauquita, speaking with Venezuelans arriving in the area to escape the violence, and hearing firsthand the sounds of gunfire and explosions from across the Arauca River.


Cody was first based out of Caracas until 2019 when a group of armed Venezuelan officers raided his apartment with a court arrest warrant for treason and espionage. After being detained for over 24 hours, he was released, put on a plane to Miami, and effectively deported from Venezuela.


We discuss the escalating combat on the Colombia-Venezuela border, as well as the refugee crisis in Colombia, the special military unit created by Venezuela for the border region, and the harrowing stories about Venezuelan troops told by Venezuelans arriving from the makeshift war zone, including arbitrary detentions and murders of civilians.


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Cody Weddle:


Cody Weddle's Story of Detainment in Venezuela:


WPLG Local 10 Story on the Venezuela-Colombia border crisis:


Intro/Outro Song: tu+yo by Sad Lacra (



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