Colombia And Venezuela To Restore Diplomatic Relations

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez met with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — The presidents of Venezuela and Colombia agreed Tuesday to reestablish diplomatic relations at a meeting in the city of Santa Marta, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez pledged to keep Colombian rebels out of his country and the two countries will establish joint committees to study the problem, according to remarks by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos that were reported by Bloomberg.

Chávez cut diplomatic relations with Colombia three weeks ago, following accusations presented by the Colombian government to the Organization of American States that the Venezuelan government was harboring leftist rebels in its territory.

Chávez denies aiding rebels and at Tuesday’s meeting once again said he does not allow guerrillas or drug traffickers to operate in Venezuela.

The diplomatic rupture was just the latest in a series of spats that have undermined bilateral relations for two years.

Colombia’s new president, a conservative and close ally of outgoing Álvaro Uribe, has begun his tenure in office by striking a more moderate tone than his predecessor. He said at his inauguration that he would work to improve strained relations with neighboring Venezuela and Ecuador, and he said he remained open to the possibility of negotiating with the FARC.

Chávez gave Santos a biography of independence hero Simón Bolívar by nineteenth-century Venezuelan writer Felipe Larrazábal as a birthday present, Colombian daily El Espectador reports. The presidents held their meeting at the Quinta San Pedro Alejandrino, the house where Bolívar died in 1830.

Other Top News: Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that all 31 of the country’s states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in the capital.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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2 comments

  1. See how well things can go when politicians act like grown ups? Keeping the lines of communication open is essential to world peace.

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