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Petro maneuvers to bring from Mexico to Colombia the dialogues between the Chavista government and the opposition


The president of Colombia wants to give new impetus to the process, which remains stagnant, from Bogotá

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, upon his arrival at the Ibero-American summit that was held last week in the Dominican Republic. FEDERICO PARRA (AFP)

The Colombian diplomatic offensive to solve the Venezuelan crisis is total.

Gustavo Petro and his entourage have maneuvered in recent weeks to bring to Colombia the dialogues between the Chavista government and the opposition that are being held in Mexico.

Negotiations have been stuck there for four months with no sign of a solution.

This would be a new way of giving impetus to the process, which would come to be held in a more natural place due to history and diplomatic relations.

The ambassador in Caracas, Armando Benedetti, spoke to the United States about this possibility on his last trip to Washington, ten days ago.

Before the arrival of the Petro, Colombia had no role in this matter.

As soon as he became president, he reestablished diplomatic relations with Venezuela and wanted to be the protagonist when it came to finding a date for the 2024 presidential elections. In Paris he met with Emmanuel Macron with Jorge Rodríguez, right-hand man of Nicolás Maduro, and with Jorge Blyde, representative of the opposition.

On his last visit to Caracas, he proposed to Maduro to hold a round of dialogue in Bogotá to break the deadlock and then go to Mexico to endorse the unfreezing.

Petro lacked gestures with the opposition, a part of it sees him as very aligned with Chavismo.

To solve it, he has proposed holding a forum with the opposition, something that is underway because this Wednesday his advisers have maintained the first contacts with the Unitary Platform of Venezuela, which brings together the four most important opposition parties plus a few minority ones. .

Added to all this is the international conference with foreign ministers that Petro has organized for after Easter, the biggest step she has taken so far as a facilitator.

From there a technical and political team has to emerge that brings together the opposing positions between the Chavistas and the United States.

The former ask for the release of frozen Venezuelan assets abroad, as agreed, to receive licenses to sell oil and the extradition of Álex Saab, whom the US accuses of being Maduro's front man.

The second, that the prisoners be released and that the disqualification of some opposition politicians be lifted.

Photograph provided by the Miraflores press where the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, is observed during an act, on Wednesday, in Caracas (Venezuela). ZURIMAR CAMPOS (EFE)

Mediators have to bring these two positions closer together.

Attracting the table from Mexico to Bogota would be the definitive step for Petro to have all the leading role in resolving the Venezuelan crisis.

However, there are significant obstacles to this happening.

Externally, the US may not look favorably on sanctioned politicians entering Colombia, in addition to the fact that this should be the product of an agreement between the parties that would modify Mexico's memorandum of understanding, given that Colombia is not the host or companion.

Internally, the opposition and other sectors that are critical of Chavismo and that are not in favor of a negotiation would put a lot of pressure on Colombia.

“Here there is a very strong sector that does not want to know anything about the Chavistas.

Imagine the reaction of Venezuelans.

They set the country on fire...", explains a diplomatic source.

A government source, on the other hand, only sees positive things in attracting the negotiating table: ”Thinking about it on the electoral side that is supposedly going to have verification conditions, I think it is a point of advantage at least for Venezuelan migrants who are here and that they were surely unprotected in their right to vote, not because Colombia did not allow it, but because of technical issues that will have to be resolved soon, such as the reopening of the consulates, which is where people vote."

Colombia's claims collide with Norway, a facilitating country.

The Norwegians watched with astonishment as Petro announced on his Twitter account that the table in Mexico was restored, they thought that he arrogated a role that did not correspond to him.

"It is the vanity of a politician," said a source in this regard.

It was simply the beginning, from that moment his involvement has only increased.

Now Petro wants it all.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-30

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