Finally, the day for the formal reopening of the border between Colombia and Venezuela I arrive. After speculation and rumours, the president Gustavo Petro He announced a few hours before his trip to Cúcuta and then moved to San Antonio del Tachira, on the Venezuelan side.
However, his Venezuelan counterpart did not do the same. The great absentee was Nicolás Maduro. A few weeks ago, the Minister of Transportation, Guillermo Reyes, during his visit to Caracas, assured that Maduro would be at that meeting, but later retracted it. From there it was said that the presence of any president was not confirmed.
The handshake between the two countries was then between Petro and the governor of the state of Táchira, Freddy Bernal. Also present was the Venezuelan Minister of Transportation, Ramón Velásquez Araguayán, the highest-ranking official representing the Maduro administration. The ambassadors of both countries also attended the meeting.
Maduro never confirmed his attendance. In television appearances, he limited himself to saying that the opening would be on September 26, but without informing about a possible transfer. The Colombian ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, said that due to security issues, Maduro’s presence had not been confirmed.
However, some expected the presence of the Vice President of the Republic, Delcy Rodríguez, or Foreign Minister Carlos Faría, since Petro was with his Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva.
The photograph was left with a Colombian president, surrounded by ministers and middle-ranking officials from Venezuela.
After the meeting, Maduro wrote on his Twitter: “We are resuming relations and taking firm steps to advance in the total and absolute opening of the border between brother peoples: Colombia and Venezuela. It is a historic and momentous day!”
Maduro left an absence in this meeting despite the fact that, since Petro’s victory, he has insisted on rapprochement with Colombia and the importance for the region of improving relations. In addition, Venezuela would serve as the setting for dialogues with the National Liberation Army (Eln), so there are more questions about why Maduro stopped going to the border.
Meanwhile, the number two of Chavismo, Diosdado Cabello, applauded the meeting at the border and assured that it was “a gesture of friendship” of neighbors and that these relations had to be sustained beyond the economic because, otherwise, It would not be doing “what corresponds”. He also thanked President Petro for his speech.
ANA RODRIGUEZ BRAZON
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