Venezuelan Supreme Court: Maduro is not Colombian

Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) confirmed Friday that President Nicolas Maduro is not a Colombian national.

By Lucas Koerner

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The Venezuelan Supreme Court has confirmed that President Nicolas Maduro is a Venezuelan born citizen. (VTV)
The Venezuelan Supreme Court has confirmed that President Nicolas Maduro is a Venezuelan born citizen. (VTV)

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President Nicolas Maduro’s birth certificate. (Albaciudad)
President Nicolas Maduro’s birth certificate. (Albaciudad)
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Caracas, October 31, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) confirmed Friday that President Nicolas Maduro is not a Colombian national. 

“Incontrovertible evidence proves with absolute certainty that the aforementioned Venezuelan head of state was born in the city of Caracas in the then-Liberator department of the Federal District, La Candelaria Parish, on November 23, 1962,” the high court stated.

The TSJ also affirmed that regardless of the possible Colombian nationality of Maduro’s parents, the president is not a dual citizen. The body stressed that Colombian nationality is not automatic by birth to Colombian parents, meaning that Maduro would have had to complete a complex series of procedures, among them reside in Colombia, in order to receive citizenship.

The ruling comes as a blow to the country’s right-wing opposition, which recently made new allegations that Maduro is Colombian and therefore ineligible to be president under Venezuela’s constitution.

On October 23, the opposition-led National Assembly approved an “Agreement for the Restitution of the Constitutional Order in Venezuela” in what has been widely interpreted as a unilateral impeachment attempt against Maduro. In buttressing its claim of a “rupture of the constitutional order”, the document cited what it termed the “probable dual nationality” of the president, which it said would be verified “shortly”.

However, the opposition effort to prove Maduro’s dual nationality has also been torpedoed by the Colombian government.

In a reply to an inquiry by National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup, Colombian Vice-Minister of External Affairs Patti Lodoño Jaramillo confirmed that authorities had failed to locate “any related information, nor any register of birth nor citizenship card that infer that President Nicolas Maduro is a Colombian national.”

The controversy has sparked comparisons to the “birther” polemic in the United States, in which Donald Trump and other Republican leaders have accused President Barack Obama of being born in Kenya. 

Venezuela’s opposition has yet to retract its accusations of dual citizenship and recognize Maduro as the legitimate president of the South American nation.