Candidate Rodolfo Hernández has indicated that, in the event of winning the June 19 elections, he would reestablish diplomatic relations with Venezuela on August 7 at 4 pm That position, with some nuances, is what Gustavo Petro has stated.
The relationship with Venezuela is one of the problems that whoever the new president is, will have to face. President Duque, who has led a good government, was committed from the beginning of his term in the failed replacement of the Venezuelan regime, generating a complex situation between the two countries. That didn’t work out for him.
Relations between Colombia and Venezuela, since the dissolution of Gran Colombia in 1830, resemble a roller coaster, with periodic ups and downs. The truth is that not only do we have a dynamic and open border of 2,219 kilometers, but, for several years, close to two million Colombians migrated to Venezuela to seek opportunities in the rich neighbor or to flee from the rampant violence in our country.
Now the roles have been reversed and, abruptly, more than two million Venezuelans have entered Colombia, generating serious economic, social and security problems. The border between the two countries is considered one of the most dangerous in the world, and in Venezuela there are Colombian armed groups that not only make incursions into Colombia, but also carry out actions in Venezuelan territory. The Venezuelan armed forces, no matter how chavista they may be, must feel the pain of the homeland.
Venezuela, moreover, has become a privileged route for the exit of drugs, from which many government officials also profit.
How do we arrive at the complex situation, only comparable to those that arise among some African nations affected by religious and tribal problems?
Hugo Chávez came to power as a result of the decomposition of the parties of the right, center and left, as well as contempt for the characters of the political class who appeared periodically in different clothes. He arrived, thanks to oil prices, with pockets full of dollars, which he began to distribute left and right, including to the English-speaking countries of the Eastern Caribbean, of which he wanted to become a mentor, and to Cuba, which was going through a complex situation , after it was forced to close dozens of mills, due to the United States blockade and the drop in sugar on the world market.
A few days after Santos’ election in June 2010, the Uribe government announced that it had evidence of the presence of the ELN and the FARC in Venezuelan territory. In an act of hypocrisy, Chávez broke off relations with Colombia and placed the border on “high alert.”
In his inaugural speech, Santos described Chávez as his “new best friend” and negotiations with the FARC began in Havana. Venezuela is designated as a “facilitator”. Tremendous mistake: first Chavez and then Maduro, they will feel privileged by that designation. Shortly after the Nobel Prize, it would also be up to him to withdraw his ambassador in Caracas.
The dilemma that either of the two candidates will have to face upon reaching the presidency and establishing relations with Venezuela will be that of the consequent ignorance of Guaidó as president. Both cards cannot be played at the same time.
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Relations with Venezuela will be a fact