The Foreign Minister of Colombian met with her Venezuelan counterpart and President Nicolas Maduro Wednesday to discuss border issues and strengthen commercial ties between the South American neighbors, according to government sources.
Minister Maria Angela Holguin reportedly discussed the topic of contraband with the Venezuelan leaders, which has been a sticky diplomatic issue in the past as Venezuela struggles to keep its subsidized goods within its borders.
Other topics of discussion included security, business ties, transportation, and energy, according the website of the foreign ministry.
The meeting came on the same day that Venezuela’s President Maduro vowed to continue supporting the Colombian peace talks.
Disregarding what he called the “rubbish” thrown at him by the “Colombian oligarchy,” Maduro reiterated his backing of the dialogues as a crisis was unfolding over the capture of a general by the FARC guerrillas, according to local media.
“Despite all of the rubbish that they hurl at my and at all of my fatherland, I am ready to continue in my support,” the current Venezuelan president said at a government meeting in the capital of Caracas.
Maduro said that there is a smear campaign against him and his government in the Colombian media.
“There is a permanent campaign against the revolution, first against [Hugo] Chavez, then against me, at all hours of every day, by television, radio, and the press. Do you know why? Because the Colombian oligarchy is afraid of us,” Maduro said.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos suspended the peace dialogues after the capture of the general in the western state of Choco, but an agreement was reached Wednesday night to allow for his release.
During a Wednesday press conference, the FARC specifically thanked the Venezuelan government for its support of the peace talks, in addition to other nations like Norway, Chile, and Cuba.
- En reunión Ministerial, Colombia y Venezuela revisaron temas de la agenda bilateral (Foreign Ministry)
- Canciller colombiana se reunió con Nicolás Maduro (Caracol Radio)
- Maduro afirma apoyo a paz de Colombia ‘a pesar’ de la basura que le lanzan (Cable Noticias)