The Minister of Defense of Venezuela, Vladimir Padrino López, announced this Tuesday (9) that, by order of the country’s dictator, Nicolás Maduro, he will establish contact with the holder of the equivalent portfolio in Colombia, Iván Velásquez Gómez, to reestablish military relations between the two nations.
“I received instructions from the commander-in-chief of the FANB (National Bolivarian Armed Force), Nicolás Maduro, to establish immediate contact with the Colombian Minister of Defense, to reestablish our military relations,” Padrino said on Twitter.
Both Maduro and the new Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, had announced that they would reestablish diplomatic relations at all levels since the latter’s inauguration, which took place on Sunday. (7), and which had been broken since 2019 due to differences between the Chavista leader and the government of former President Iván Duque.
Padrino’s statements, made during a handover ceremony and reception of vice ministries in Lara state, coincide with Maduro’s most recent request to the Colombian president to “rebuild the brotherhood” between both countries.
After Petro’s inauguration ceremony, the Venezuelan president congratulated the leftist and stressed that he extends the hand “to rebuild the brotherhood based on respect and love between peoples”.
Colombia and Venezuela, which share a border of 2.219 kilometers, do not have diplomatic relations since 219 February 2019, when they were broken by order of Maduro, amid an escalation of tension with the then Colombian president, Duque, who supported the leader Venezuelan opponent Juan Guaidó.
Since then, the government of Venezuela has accused Duque of making terrorist plans and has undertaken a military campaign on the borders to fight “armed terrorists and Colombian drug traffickers”.
Duque, in turn, accused Maduro of harboring guerrilla groups and Colombian drug traffickers and denounced the authoritarian escalation a in the neighboring country – Colombia was the country that received the most Venezuelan immigrants, more than 2 million, due to the economic disaster of Chavismo.