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News > Colombia

Colombia Bans Entry to Singer for Closeness to Venezuelan Gov't

  • Omar Enrique singing at the Miss Venezuela pageant, Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 13, 2018.

    Omar Enrique singing at the Miss Venezuela pageant, Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 13, 2018. | Photo: EFE file

Published 2 February 2019

Some 200 people are banned from entering Colombia due to their "close relationship" with President Nicolas Maduro.

The Colombian Government has banned Venezuelan singer Omar Enrique, who was due to give a concert at the Barranquilla Carnival, from entering the country reportedly due to engagements with President Nicolas Maduro administration, official sources said Friday.

Maduro: 'I Stand Firm Defending Venezuela's Sovereignty'

"This is a discretionary and sovereign decision. We are not going to allow people who have done so much damage to our Venezuelan brothers to go around our country without caring about the consequences of their actions," Colombia's General Director of Migration, Christian Kruger, said, and assured that if the Venezuelan singer tries to enter Colombia he will be notified of his inadmissibility.

Omar Enrique's manager, however, explained that the Venezuelan artist has a 25-year career, during which he has sung throughout Venezuela.

"Omar Enrique was an artist before Chavez and after him. His life has revolved around his music and he is one of the artists who did not leave the country and continued working in his career... Artists are apolitical, without distinction of race, religion and political parties. He sings to the people and nothing else," Omar Enrique's manager said, according to El Heraldo, a Colombian newspaper.

Omar Enrique, who performed the official song of Nicolas Maduro's presidential campaign, is part of a list of 200 people who are banned from entering Colombia because of their "close relationship" with Venezuela's president.

The Colombian list is headed by Maduro and includes the head of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello and the vice president Delcy Rodríguez.

Kruger affirmed that Venezuelan Ronald Ramirez, who arrived by airplane in Barranquilla to take over as the new president of a Venezuelan state petrochemical company, was also not admitted.

Colombia, which has been supporting the US-backed coup against President Maduro, recognized Juan Guaido as interim president after he proclaimed himself on January 23.

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