US confirms Colombia "major" non-NATO ally
President Biden has formally designated Colombia as a "major" partner, as Bogota pledges military assistance to Kiev.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden signed a memorandum establishing Colombia as a key non-NATO ally of the US, a privileged status that would provide Bogota many defense and commercial benefits in its relations with Washington.
Colombian President Ivan Duque Tweeted praise for Washington's designation of Colombia as a non-NATO ally, calling the decision a reaffirmation of "the good moment of our bilateral relations."
Following a request from Washington, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano stated on Monday that a contingent of his country's forces will assist in training Ukrainian soldiers in de-mining procedures.
Diego stated that “This training will be given by 11 military engineers who will go to a NATO member country which is a neighbor of Ukraine."
The designation of important non-NATO ally has been conferred to 19 countries throughout the world, most recently Qatar. It grants economic benefits to US allies such as financing, joint research, and even exclusive defense contracts with NATO countries. However, the status does not imply any security responsibilities to the selected countries.
Colombia: Washington's arm in S. America
It is noteworthy that in April, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused his Colombian counterpart, Ivan Duque, of planning sabotage attacks against law enforcement officers on the territory of Venezuela.
In February 2019, Venezuela severed diplomatic relations with Colombia after an attempt by opposition activists led by Juan Guaido to truck humanitarian aid across the border. The Venezuelan government said this was an invasion attempt.
Caracas has repeatedly accused Bogota of consistently destabilizing the internal situation in Venezuela by means of "attempted invasions" and the infiltration of armed terrorist groups across the border.
In July 2021, Venezuela arrested armed men and confiscated the US and Colombian military weapons.
The Venezuelan Vice President said during a televised statement that “three members of Colombian armed gangs were detained in connection to the raids”.
Meanwhile, Venezuela held the United States and Colombia responsible for carrying out a series of sabotage operations and attempting to incite violence in their country.
Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro has previously accused the US of plotting to kill him and topple his government.