President-elect of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, is taking the first steps to fulfill his promise to build bridges with Venezuela.
On Saturday, July 1, a memo was published by the Colombian far-right magazine Semana announcing that, in a matter of days, Petro will commission a political leader to carry out the necessary measures to establish dialogues with Venezuela, with the focus on the cessation of tensions.
In addition, a source who requested anonymity told the Colombian media that the president-elect had a telephone conversation with the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, earlier this week.
The report states that one of the first announcements, which could be made within the framework of a bilateral rapprochement, would be to reopen the consulates in both nations as a gesture of trust.
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Likewise, the normalization of ties between the two countries could imply the reopening of the seven land-border crossings that have remained closed due to previous disputes.
After learning of his victory in the Colombian presidential elections, Petro stressed last June that there is a joint interest in improving ties between Bogotá and Caracas.
For his part, Maduro reported having held talks with Petro and that the two sides expressed “the willingness to restore normality on the borders, various issues about peace and the prosperous future of both peoples.”
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Subsequently, the Colombian president-elect assured that he will eradicate the armed groups on the border with Venezuela and open trade with the neighboring country.
In fact, Petro defends that the resuming of Colombian-Venezuelan relations will result in an increase in income of $10 billion for his country and the creation of one million jobs.
On February 23, 2019, Caracas announced the total closure of its borders with Colombia due to a coup plot, orchestrated by the US, with the support of Colombia. This refers to the failed attempt by Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, to enter alleged humanitarian aid without authorization to Venezuela, through the Colombian city of Cúcuta.
At that moment both countries broke diplomatic relations after Colombia, following the United States, recognized Guaidó as the “interim president” of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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