Posted by Adriaan Alsema on Sep 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Santos remains ‘neutral’ regarding Venezuela elections

Henrique Capriles Colombia

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday said he will remain “neutral” in regards to the upcoming elections in Venezuela, following a meeting with presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.

According to a press release by the President’s Office, “Santos reiterated Colombia’s neutrality regarding the electoral process going on in the neighboring country.”

In his meeting with the Venezuelan opposition candidate, the Colombian president “expressed the hope that the venezuelan people massively and peacefully will take to the polls on election day coming October 7,” the press release said.

According to the Colombian presidency, the two countries’ bilateral relations are more imporant than elections.

Regardless of the outcome of next month’s elections in Venezuela, Santos’ priority is “to continue working harmoniously to strangthen the relations between Colombia and Venezuela.”

According to Capriles, the meeting served to “reiterate his interest in bilateral relations,” with a focus on “trade, peace and the border dynamics both countries share and should be a common objective in terms of security.”

Since taking office in August 2010, Santos prioritized improving relations with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez who had cut relations with Colombia at the end of the second term of Santos’ predecessor Alvaro Uribe, a vociferous opponent of the leftist Chavez.