Maduro was in Bogota to attend the Saturday inauguration of Santos and met with Colombia’s new Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin.
On Saturday, Chavez said on Venezuelan television that he was willing to “turn the page” and mend relations that he suspended a few weeks ago after former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of harboring fighters from Colombian guerrilla groups the FARC and ELN.
Before the latest diplomatic crisis with Venezuela broke out, Santos had announced that one of the priorities of his government would be a normalization of ties with neighbors like Venezuela and Ecuador.
Ties with Ecuador had been strained since March 2008 when Colombia attacked a FARC camp on the Ecuadorean side of the border, killing FARC-commander Raul Reyes and 25 others. Relations between Ecuador and Colombia had already begun to improve since September 2009 under the presidency of Uribe, and resulted in a meeting between Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa and Santos in Bogota minutes after Santos’ inauguration.
Venezuela and Colombia have had difficult relations after Colombia accused Venezuela of aiding the FARC and Venezuela accused Colombia of supporting the U.S. in a campaign to discredit the leftist government in Caracas. According to Chavez, Washington is seeking ways to attack Venezuela for its large oil reserves.