Venezuela and Colombia exchange ambassadors after three years of rupture

Venezuela and Colombia exchange ambassadors after three years of rupture

Colombian President Gustavo Petro

Venezuela and Colombia announced on Thursday that they would swap ambassadors more than three years after severing ties. Colombia recently elected a new left-wing president, Gustavo Petro.

In Caracas, President Nicolas Maduro announced that former Foreign Minister Félix Plasencia had requested his accreditation to the Colombian government and will soon be in Bogota.

I have decided, in response to the Venezuelan government which has appointed the ambassador who will be responsible for normalizing relations between the two countries, to appoint Armando Benedetti as Colombia's ambassador to Venezuela, retorted Gustavo Petro in a video addressed to the media. Mr. Benedetti is a former senator.

Caracas severed diplomatic relations with Bogotá in February 2019, when right-wing Colombian President Ivan Duque failed to recognize the re-election of Nicolas Maduro and supported the proclamation of the opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president.

Mr. Maduro has also repeatedly reported alleged plans by Mr. Duque to overthrow him.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

In addition to the exchange of ambassadors, the normalization process provides for the complete reopening of the border of more than 2000 km which separates the two countries, completely closed to vehicles since 2015 and reopened only to pedestrians since the end of the year. #x27;last year. Caracas and Bogota will also restore their military relations.

We will continue step by step and at a sure pace towards the restoration and reconstruction of political, diplomatic and trade relations, Maduro said on the public channel VTV.

Gustavo Petro, the first left-wing president in Colombia's history elected on June 19, announced during his campaign that he would restore diplomatic relations with Venezuela upon taking office on August 7.

MM. Petro and Maduro have already spoken on the phone, but the presence of guerrillas, paramilitaries and drug traffickers on the porous common border area, which millions of Venezuelans have crossed to flee the crisis, remains a sensitive subject.

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