If there is a matter that flows in the foreign policy of this Government It is the relationship with Venezuela. On the afternoon of this Thursday, the president Gustavo Petro once again visited his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, in a meeting that was called a “working meeting” and where the fight against drug trafficking, the opening of consulates and a summit of Amazonian countries, were the central themes.
(Maduro proposes to Petro to create an economic zone between Colombia and Venezuela).
In a short time, there was the restoration of relations between both nations (August), the presentation of credentials to endorse the establishment of ambassadors and the “Work meetings”.
There are already three. The one this Thursday took place in the Aquiles Nazoa Cultural House, place in which the national government and the National Liberation Army —ELN— announced the resumption of peace talks.
Despite the fact that the meetings have become common, the information provided is minimal. In fact, it took the media by surprise both in Colombia and Venezuela. Last weekend, it was reported that both leaders would meet on a holiday Monday in Caracas. The fact was denied by the Casa de Nariño, which said that this appointment was not scheduled on the head of state’s agenda. This Thursday, however, it was announced that he would go. Meanwhile, in the Venezuelan capital the secrecy was greater.
“The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, receives his Colombian counterpart, Gustavo Petro, who traveled for the third time -in less than six months- to Caracas for a “working meeting” with the Chavista leader, a meeting whose agenda is unknown official”, reported EFE.
Also attending the meeting were the ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, and the president of the Venezuelan Parliament, Jorge Rodríguez, according to the images shown by public television.
VTV assured that the visit has the objective of continuing to deepen the “strategic cooperation map” that both countries design since the arrival of the Colombian leftist to power, in August of last year.
With the arrival of Petro, Colombia and Venezuela reestablished diplomatic relations broken by Maduro on February 23, 2019 as a result of the attempt of the then “interim president” of Venezuela, the opposition Juan Guaidó, to enter his country from the Colombian city of Cúcuta at the head of a humanitarian caravan, an attempt that ended in riots on the border.
(The details of the meeting that Petro and Maduro had in Venezuela).
Since then, in addition to diplomacy, the vast 2,219-kilometer border they share has been reopened commercially and work has begun on trade agreements and agreements of a different nature, which will continue to be discussed at this new meeting.
In their last meeting, held right on the border, in Tienditas, one of the bridges that connect the two countries, Petro and Maduro signed a commercial agreement to reach the goal of 1.8 billion dollars in commercial operations this year.
If this result materializes, it will multiply by eight the 222 million dollars of 2020, the worst year of the bilateral relationship, but still well below the record of 7,000 million dollars reached in 2008.
(Promote investments and more commitments in the Petro – Maduro meeting).
In previous meetings, other issues have been discussed, such as Colombia’s desire for Venezuela to re-enter international organizations such as the Andean Community (CAN) or the Inter-American Human Rights System, migration -both of Venezuelans in Colombia and Colombians in Venezuela- , the “Democratic Construction of America”the environment or national security.