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 2 - Leopoldo López’s protegé Juan Guaidó collaborated with Colombian drug traffickers
The role of the US government in sponsoring Venezuela’s extreme right-wing opposition is well known. The support that Venezuela’s anti-Chavista opposition has received from government institutions, paramilitaries, drug cartels, and organized crime networks in neighboring Colombia is however less well understood.
At the height of the US-backed regime-change attempt in 2019, Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó – a protegé of Leopoldo López – was photographed meeting with members of the Rastrojos, a Colombian paramilitary involved in drug trafficking.
The Rastrojos have been responsible for massacres of civilians, political assassinations, drug trafficking, weapons dealing, and kidnappings. The paramilitary group is linked to former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, who met with Leopoldo López in December 2020.
Photos from February 2019 showed Guaidó posing with two leaders of the paramilitary group – Alberto Lobo Quintero, known as “el Broder,” and Jhon Jairo Durán, known as “el Menor.”
These drug traffickers reportedly helped Guaidó illegally cross the border into Colombia to carry out a US-backed coup attempt on February 23, in which opposition hooligans supported by Washington tried to ram a truck full of US supplies across a bridge into Venezuela, but ended up setting the convoy on fire instead.