The government of Nicolás Maduro supports that of Gustavo Petro in the search for a bilateral ceasefire with the ELN, the last active guerrilla in Colombia, and other armed groups as part of its total peace policy.
This is the first point addressed by the concise joint declaration of the two presidents, who held an "extraordinary bilateral meeting" in Caracas this Saturday, after Petro's false start on New Year, when he announced a truce with the ELN that the rebels denied.
With the normalization of relations between the two neighbors underway, there is still a lack of definitions from the leaders on issues such as control of the extensive common border or the re-entry of Venezuela into the inter-American human rights system, but the main subject of the meeting was the peace process with the National Liberation Army, which already had a first cycle of talks in Caracas.
After the misunderstanding around the bilateral ceasefire, which the guerrillas denied having agreed to, the head of the negotiating team appointed by Petro explained that the matter was still being discussed and the president rushed.
"We had a broad and very fruitful meeting," Maduro said, without going into details, in a message on Twitter about a meeting surrounded by discretion, which ended without statements from the presidents.
"Venezuela as a guarantor country will support the Government of Colombia in its objective to maintain the bilateral cessation and total peace," the joint statement said.
It also announces several agreements on investment promotion and bilateral trade, and celebrates the full opening of border bridges, including the brand new Atanasio Girardot bridge, which arrived with the new year.
Petro traveled to Caracas accompanied by the foreign minister, Álvaro Leyva;
the Chief of Staff, Laura Sarabia;
the Colombian ambassador in Washington, Luis Gilberto Murillo;
and the Minister of Commerce, Germán Umaña, a key man in the normalization of relations.
Before the meeting between the leaders, the Colombian ambassador in Caracas, Armando Benedetti, met with the new Venezuelan foreign minister Yvan Gil, named the day before along with a new president of PDVSA, two key positions for a Maduro back in the international arena.
The two countries are also pushing for new energy deals so they can operate without being subject to US sanctions.
As EL PAÍS reported, the Colombian state oil company, Ecopetrol, has requested permission from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), known as the Clinton list, to do business with PDVSA.
to the EL PAÍS newsletter on Colombia and receive all the latest information on the country.