In response to accusations of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday dismissed the idea that Colombia is involved in any sort of conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
“It is absurd to think… that the Colombian government is interested or, even worse, that it is supporting any kind of action to destabilize the government of Venezuela” said President Santos in reply to the claims made by President Nicolas Maduro that the Santos government had “stabbed Venezuela in the back”, on Friday.
However President Santos moved to calm the situation, saying that “there must be misunderstandings” and confirming reports made by the Colombian government that the countries will settle any differences only via diplomatic channels.
Santos questioned why Colombia would take such action, saying that “we have the most to lose from any problem that Venezuela has” and declared that in the face of the atmosphere of high political tension, the Colombian government plans to “maintain the spirit” of the agreement he made with late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, which led to a period of improved relations between the countries and in which the leaders allegedly committed not to intrude in each other’s internal affairs.
“For the good of Venezuela and that of Colombia, any misunderstanding must be resolved in a civilized manner, with caution and through the correct diplomatic channels” he said.
Maduro, however was very clear in his convictions of the accusations of “betrayal” he leveled at Santos and Colombia after Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles was welcomed to Bogota in an official visit on Wednesday, and even suggested that Venezuela could withdraw from its facilitating role in the peace talks between the Colombian government and the rebel group FARC.