The elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petroannounced this Wednesday that it contacted the Government of Venezuela to open the borders and restore “the full exercise of Human Rights”, after the outgoing Iván Duque ended diplomatic relations in February 2019.
“I have communicated with the Venezuelan government to open the borders and restore the full exercise of human rights,” Petro wrote on his Twitter profile, without offering more details about that conversation.
The announcement of the future tenant of Casa de Nariño is part of one of his promises during the electoral campaign, in which he stressed the “urgent” and “priority” need to reestablish diplomatic and consular relations with Venezuela, according to a cable from the Europapress agency .
“The optimal thing would be to fully normalize our bilateral interactions, The sensible and perhaps viable thing, given its current deterioration, is to start with what is most feasible, that is, the consular, and work towards the full restoration of relations,” Petro said.
“We only have three options: cooperate, attack or isolate ourselves. Our government will not be one of isolation or aggression. Colombia will be known as a world power for life. Our government will maintain open channels of communication with the democratically elected government of Venezuela.“, he pointed.
“The Welfare of the People”
“Normalizing relationships doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that must start first of all from the well-being of the people, starting with the border“, detailed the first leftist to reach the presidency of Colombia, which assumes on August 7, in an interview with Caracol Television.
Petro’s announcement was confirmed by Maduro, who also reported that both leaders had previously discussed the issue in the framework of a talk on “peace and the prosperous future of both peoples,” reported the Venezuelan president.
Confirmation of Maduro
“I spoke with the elected president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and, on behalf of the Venezuelan people, I congratulated him on his victory. We discussed the willingness to restore normalcy at the borders, various issues about peace and the prosperous future of both peoples,” Maduro said on Twitter.
After the confirmation of the results of the Colombian election this Sunday, Maduro was one of the first leaders of the region to congratulate Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez for their “historic” victory. “The will of the Colombian people was heard, which came out to defend the path of democracy and peace. New times are on the horizon,” celebrated the Bolivarian leader.
Subsequently, some Chavismo figures, such as the vice president of the governing United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), God given hairindicated that they trust that not one, but “many representatives of Venezuela” will attend Petro’s inauguration, scheduled for August 7.
The opening of the border is one of Petro’s campaign promises, which, like his rival in the second round of Sunday’s elections, Rodolfo Hernandez, He assured that, if elected, he would take that step.
The two countries share a 2,219 kilometer border which has been closed to the passage of vehicles since August 2015 by order of Maduro, who had previously expelled thousands of Colombians from that area.
Subsequently, on February 23, 2019, Maduro broke diplomatic relations with Colombia amid an escalation of tensions over the recognition of his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, to the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, as interim president.
The Venezuelan crisis caused the exodus of millions of citizens of that country who cross the border on foot, either through official crossings or unguarded routes, and close to two million of them have settled in Colombia, where the Duque Government offered them a Temporary Protection Statute.
The border area has also been the scene of multiple attacks by irregular armed groups against the Colombian and Venezuelan security forces, and an attack with rifle bursts against a helicopter in which Duque was traveling, in June 2021.
Pedestrian and river traffic partially resumed at the end of 2021. The passage of vehicles and goods remains closed in the Colombian city of Cúcuta, where the main border bridges are located. “The borders have not been closed, the borders are open”Duque told the media after being questioned about the announcement of his successor.
Duque has repeatedly accused Maduro of harboring Colombian guerrillas and drug traffickers in his territory. Caracas denies these accusations, while He accuses the Duque administration of sending paramilitaries to destabilize and encourage assassination plans in Venezuela.