The president of the Colombian Senate, Juan Diego Gómez Jiménez, clarified that “any progress” in the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Venezuela – broken since February 2019 -, “It is the exclusive power” of President Iván Duque, through the Chancellery.
Through his Twitter account, Gómez made the statement regarding the proposal to normalize relations with Venezuela, which was unanimously approved in the Senate on October 19 and received favorably by the Venezuelan National Assembly.
“No way [esa resolución] replaces constitutional powers of the handling of international relations headed by President Iván Duque, “insisted Gómez, a day after the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, applauded the legislative initiative of the Colombian Senate.
Why was there controversy?
In the midst of the growing tensions between Duque and Maduro, the proposal of the Colombian Senate was welcomed by Caracas, which expressed its “full readiness” to advance in the normalization of bilateral relations.
However, hours later, Gómez recalled that Duque had “been categorical in stating that the Colombian state does not recognize the government of Nicolás Maduro.” However, he said that although the members of the Senate are “respectful of the power of the president in the management of foreign policy,” continue to maintain their “willingness to promote social dialogue”.
At a press conference held on Wednesday with the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, from Bogotá, Duque ratified his position of not recognizing the Venezuelan government.
“We are not going to admit it, it would be a surrender”said the Colombian president, who recalled that his country only admits former opposition deputy Juan Guaidó as the highest representative of Venezuela, “as the US Government has also done.”
In the same vein, the Vice President and Chancellor, Marta Lucía Ramírez, described as “totally unacceptable” the proposal sent by the Colombian Senate to the Venezuelan parliament earlier in the week, and dismissed it as “a mistake that was unfortunately made.”
Likewise, he assured that this “error” had already been corrected with the clarification of Senator Gómez. For his part, the Colombian Defense Minister, Diego Molano, defended that his country does not have relations with the Maduro government, which he describes as a “dictatorial regime.”
Venezuela backs the Senate
In Caracas, the Venezuelan Parliament approved this Thursday, unanimously, the rapprochement between the parliaments of Colombia and Venezuela to jointly address matters related to the normalization of relationships commercial and diplomatic.
The Venezuelan deputies agreed in plenary to create two commissions. The first will perform functions as a “Friendship Group Parliamentarian with Colombia, “which will be chaired by parliamentarian Didalco Bolívar and will incorporate several legislators from different political tendencies.
The second will be a “mixed Commission“to establish relations between both parliaments, which will have as head the opposition deputy Timoteo Zambrano and will base his work on three lines: the normalization of diplomatic relations, the regularization of commercial relations and the verification of good practices in the exchange of goods and services.
During the parliamentary debate, Deputy Zambrano Indian that the Colombian Senate’s proposal was in response to a communication sent by the Foreign Policy Commission of the Venezuelan Parliament, which it considered an “important precedent” of the will to “achieve a path of understanding.”
The president of the National Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez, also spoke, dismissing Duque’s adverse reaction to the possibility of normalizing relations and invited the Senate of Colombia “not to attend to this policy of hatred” nor “those foams of rage.”
“The intention of the Senate of Colombia is clear, it is not to steal powers, is to substitute a failed policy and acknowledge that they were wrong. Wise is to recognize when one is wrong. On our part it is an exercise of sanity to tell them: you extend your hand, we extend ours to shake you and work, “said Rodríguez.
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