Published 25/04/2023 17:05 | Edited 4/25/2023 6:35 PM
Colombian President Gustavo Petro has summoned foreign ministers and diplomats from 20 countries to help find a peaceful solution to the political crisis in Venezuela. The “cumbre” intends to contribute to the reformulation of the dialogue between the government of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition in the 2024 elections.
The meeting begins this Tuesday (25), held at the chancellery, in Bogota. Latin American countries are participating, represented by Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Mexico and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. United States, Canada, South Africa and Turkey are also part of the summit. European countries also confirmed their presence. Among them, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom.
Nicolás Maduro expressed support for the initiative of his Colombian counterpart. “I expressed all Venezuela’s support to this summit to streamline and revive our country’s struggle for respect for our sovereignty, respect for our independence and the definitive lifting of all unilateral coercive measures against Venezuela, based on what we have always sought: political dialogue”.
The Petro government also maintained contact with the Venezuelan opposition. The Colombian president met with the Plataforma Unitaria, a group that brings together the largest parties that oppose Maduro.
To the press, Gustavo Petro said that the meeting will serve to “establish a great agreement that guarantees the elections, the lifting of sanctions and the normality of life in Venezuela”.
With Gustavo Petro’s electoral victory, both countries formally renewed diplomatic relations in August last year.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó was sent to the United States by the Colombian government after illegally entering the country. Guaidó crossed the border without going through immigration to attend Gustavo Petro’s government conference. The Venezuelan landed in Miami, this Tuesday (25).
Guaidó announced on social media that he arrived in Bogotá at dawn on Monday to participate in the summit. Colombian Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva, however, confirmed that Juan Guaidó was not invited to attend the meeting.
On Twitter, Gustavo Petro stated that “a political sector wanted to disturb the free development of the international conference on Venezuela”.
Colombia’s foreign affairs ministry said it did not provide a plane for the opposition leader and that it only took the politician to the airport. “The ticket had already been purchased by him,” said the ministry.