Venezuela and Colombia will restore diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level on August 7, the day the new Colombian president Gustavo Petro, who belongs to the left, takes office, representatives of the two countries announced on Thursday.
Venezuela’s foreign minister, Carlos Faria, welcomed his designated future Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Leyva, in San Cristóbal, the capital of the state of Tachira, located on the border of the two Latin American countries.
The two men, according to a statement read by Mr. Leyva, “expressed their will to proceed with the implementation of a work program for the progressive normalization of relations between the two nations that will begin on August 7, with the appointment of ambassadors and other diplomatic and consular posts operators”.
In a statement to the press, Mr. Faria clarified that once Mr. Petros takes office, the two countries will proceed “immediately” to “install ambassadors” and “all the teams that will work in the various consulates” of a country on the other.
“We agree that we must work for the peace and security of our borders, we are talking about the progressive opening of the borders, which will directly benefit our people,” he added. He described yesterday’s meeting as “historic”.
Mr Petro, the first left-wing president in Colombia’s history, who was elected on June 19, had announced during his election campaign that he would restore his country’s diplomatic relations with Venezuela, which have been severed since in 2019.
Outgoing right-wing president Ivan Duque, like some sixty other countries, including the US, did not recognize the re-election of President Nicolás Maduro and supported opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who had declared himself a transitional president.
The two countries’ borders remained completely closed until there was a relaxation in October 2021. Mr Maduro had repeatedly alleged that Mr Duque was involved in plots to overthrow him.
Messrs. Petro and Maduro have already spoken by phone, but the presence of rebels, paramilitaries and drug traffickers on the porous border of more than 2,200 kilometers, crossed by millions of Venezuelan citizens due to the political and economic crisis in their country, remains a nerve issue.
Yesterday Thursday, Colombian police announced that they were “in possession of evidence” that an armed group led by a former guerrilla in hiding in Venezuela had offered a reward of $1.5 million or more for the assassination of President Duque or his government’s defense minister Diego Molano.
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.