The Venezuelan government has long tolerated armed groups trafficking drugs and contraband near its border with Colombia. Now it has lashed out at one of them, driving thousands of civilians into flight. Venezuelans near the Arauca River, the border between Venezuela and Colombia, after crossing by boat into Arauquita, Colombia.Fernando Vergara/Associated Press BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Venezuela is waging its most concerted military campaign in years, targeting what it says is a criminal group operating within its border near Colombia but also sending an estimated 5,000 of its own civilians fleeing into the neighboring country. The assault — which began with several days of airstrikes that security experts described as Venezuela’s largest use of firepower in decades — represents a significant departure from the largely hands-off approach it has long employed toward the illicit organizations that flourish along its border. For years, officials in President Nicolás Maduro’s government have tolerated […]