Caracas, October 31, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—The presidents of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, and Colombia, Gustavo Petro, will meet on Tuesday, November 1, to discuss the complex bilateral agenda after three years of diplomatic rupture and hostilities launched by former Colombian President Ivan Duque, who was following White House instructions to the letter.
A statement published by the Colombian Presidency on its Twitter account reported that Petro will arrive in Caracas on Tuesday with his work team to “have lunch with the Venezuelan president.”
“This Tuesday, November 1, a meeting will be held between the president of Colombia and the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro,” the Colombian Presidency wrote on the social media platform, accompanied by the work agenda of the upcoming meeting. The meeting will occur just days after Lula da Silva’s victory in the Brazilian presidential elections.
The Colombian delegation plans to deal with issues such as the reopening of the border between the two countries, which took place at the end of September but is still in the early stages, and “the re-entry of Venezuela to the inter-American human rights system.” However, re-entry into the inter-American human rights system is not part of Venezuela’s priorities, taking into consideration its resignation from the Organization of American States, to which the “system” is attached, and the use of human rights as a political tool to attack socialist countries.
The awaited meeting between President Petro and President Maduro is happening tomorrow (Nov 1) in Caracas. They will talk, among many things, about the Amazon… https://t.co/Mu3BpzwGuV
— Orinoco Tribune (@OrinocoTribune) October 31, 2022
Environmental issues will also be discussed, looking toward COP27, the 27th annual UN meeting on climate, which will begin the second week of November. Petro has actively raised the issue of the Amazon in recent days, but many environmental activists are cautious, concerned that corporate interests pushing to open up the Amazon to capitalist destruction might be behind Colombian authorities’ interest in the matter.
The statement mentions that the meeting seeks to boost the region’s economy and President Gustavo Petro’s agenda in favor of the interests of the Latin American bloc. Petro and Colombian economic powers have been pushing for Venezuela to rejoin the Andean Community, something that does not seem feasible due to Venezuela’s incorporation into Mercosur.
Venezuela abandoned Andean customs terms and adopted those of Mercosur. Additionally, the bilateral trade agreements signed by Colombia, Peru and Ecuador with the US give duty preference to US products, jeopardizing local production and internal preferential treatment in trade among Andean Community countries.
The Andean Community, a European Union-style trade bloc, is currently comprised of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. This is after Venezuela and Chile, founding countries of the customs union, withdrew in 2006 and 1976, respectively.
Beyond trade matters, Venezuela and Colombia have pressing security issues due to powerful drug-trafficking activity originating in Colombia that affects neighboring countries and direct security threats against Venezuela that have been organized, planned and launched from Colombia. These threats involved the Colombian state security apparatus and intended to destabilize Nicolás Maduro’s government during Ivan Duque’s rule.
Orinoco Tribune Special by staff
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