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Colombian and Venezuelan presidents meet again in Caracas

By Nehomar Hernández*

Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro met again in Caracas on Thursday, the fourth meeting between the two – and the third in less than six months – since the leftist Colombian leader arrived at the Casa de Nariño on August 7 last year.

The close relationship that the two heads of state have been building has resulted in the reestablishment – after four years – of full diplomatic relations between both countries through the appointment of Venezuelan Carlos Eduardo Martínez as ambassador in Bogotá, while the Colombian government entrusted Armando Benedetti to head its embassy in Caracas.

Recently Colombia and Venezuela also gave the green light to open their shared border.

Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan, Colombian and Venezuelan presidents meet again in Caracas
Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro meeting in Caracas (Photo internet reproduction)

On this occasion, Maduro received Petro at the Casona Cultural Aquiles Nazoa, a former presidential residence in the Venezuelan capital.

State-owned Venezolana de Televisión reported that the purpose of the exchange was to reinforce the “strategic cooperation map” between both countries.

Other media stated that the meeting sought to influence aspects of “economic, commercial, financial, political, and cultural cooperation”.

And indeed, the closeness between the two Executives has been fruitful in beneficial cooperation in the last few months.

Maduro has seen Petro as a sort of advocate before the international community to be readmitted into society and to improve his image as a socialist tyrant.

The Colombian head of state has obtained the whole disposition of Chavism to contribute to the so-called process of “total peace” that he insisted on undertaking with terrorist groups such as the dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and, more recently, with the National Liberation Army (ELN).

A few days ago, the Colombian state obtained the extradition of Aida Merlano, a former congresswoman convicted of electoral crimes and illegal weapon possession, who fled to Venezuela in 2019.

The transfer of the former congresswoman, who will be tried again in Colombia as of March 29, was delayed by the Chavista tyranny to generate unpleasantness with Petro’s predecessor in office, former president Iván Duque.


Paradoxically, the meeting occurred when corruption scandals splashed Maduro’s regime and Petro’s government.

In the Venezuelan case, there has been a purge within a sector of Chavismo led by the now-former Minister of Petroleum, Tareck El Aissami, which had led to several arrests of officials amid the alleged discovery of a scheme involving the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) where about €3 billion were allegedly stolen.

Petro, on the other hand, has had to face accusations involving his immediate family.

His brother Juan Fernando Petro and his son Nicolás Petro have been accused of meeting with criminals and even receiving money from drug trafficking to finance political and personal activities.

* Venezuelan journalist (Universidad Central de Venezuela) and Master in Political Science (Universidad Simón Bolívar).

He is working on his doctoral thesis in Political Science and hosts the radio program “Y Así Nos Va” on Radio Caracas Radio.

With information from LGI

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