Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trying to “destroy” Colombia’s left, presidential candidate Gustavo Petro (Polo Democratico) said on Wednesday after Chavez had said that Colombia’s left-wing politicians are “cowards.”
According to the socialist candidate, “Chavez insulted us. He insulted the leftists that have fought so hard for democracy.” According to Petro, Chavez’s accusations only serve to destroy the Colombian left “as if the persecution by (Colombian President Alvaro) Uribe isn’t enough already.”
Petro responded to the Venezuelan President who on Tuesday told Venezuelan media that “a cowardly left-wing like that of Petro doesn’t work.”
The Polo Democratico leader told Colombian media he plans to send a letter of protest to Caracas about Chavez’ comment and telling the Venezuelan Head of State that if he wants to help Colombia, he should lift trade restrictions that were implemented after Colombia announced it would allow U.S. forces access to Colombian military bases and airports.
Petro is not the first to be attacked by Chavez; according to the socialist leader, Colombian right-wing candidate Juan Manuel Santos‘ election would mean a “threat” to Venezuela and other neighboring countries.