Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says if Colombia elects its next president in the first round election this Sunday, the socialist leader will be the first to call and congratulate the nation’s next leader.
Chavez said he hoped the next Colombian president “will be a person to talk with and reach at minimum an agreement of respect.”
The Venezuelan reiterated that his government will not repair fractured diplomatic relations with current Colombian President Alavro Uribe’s government.
Chavez has been accused of trying to influence the outcome of the May 30 presidential elections.
Colombian presidential candidates have rejected what they view to be foreign interference in the national electoral process.
Relations between Chavez and Uribe have been rocky for years, but frictions worsened following Colombia’s agreement to give the U.S. increased access to its military bases – a deal that Chavez calls a threat to Venezuela.
Colombia, meanwhile, alleges Chavez’s government has allowed Colombian rebels to take refuge inside Venezuela. Chavez has repeatedly rejected the allegations.
Colombians go to the polls on Sunday to elect their next president.
As of midnight last Sunday, candidates for the 2010-2014 presidency were required by law to stop canvassing. The latest polls are too close to predict who will win the most contested elections in the country’s modern history.