Despite protests from Venezuela’s right-wing opposition, the late Hugo Chavez helped pave the way for peace in Colombia, President Nicolas Maduro said during a press conference Tuesday, adding that a “new era of happiness” awaits the country.
Maduro recalled how Chavez was attacked by reactionary forces in both Venezuela and those in Colombia who rejected talks between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the Colombian government.
According to Maduro, Chavez “managed to build the confidence necessary to start negotiations which culminated in the signing of the peace agreement in Cartagena.”
On the topic of Venezuelan-Colombian relations, President Maduro expressed his desire for closer ties with neighboring Colombia, free from outside “interference.”
“I am sure that peace will bring to Colombia a new era of happiness and brotherly relations with Venezuela,” he added.
Maduro also reiterated that Colombia is entering a new chapter that should enable popular organizations to express their differences without the risk of being killed.
On the same day, Maduro also met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Cartagena.
“I ask that God bless the results of the meeting and that Venezuela opens a new era of relations with the United States,” he said after the meeting, with Reuters reporting the pair spoke for 40 minutes.
The U.S. government said Kerry spoke with Maduro about Venezuela’s “economic and political challenges,” urging him to work with the country’s opposition.
U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump said in July that the United States would “end up being Venezuela” if his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, were to win the White House in November’s vote.
Maduro has in the past called Trump a “bandit and thief.”
The Venezuelan president added that veteran U.S. diplomat Tom Shannon, who has been the U.S. point man for the troubled relationship, will visit Caracas again soon and that an invitation was open to Kerry.
by teleSUR / DB-egb, teleSUR
September 28, 2016