Colombia informed Venezuela beforehand about a visit by that country’s opposition leader Henrique Capriles that spurred the neighbor’s fury and a series of conspiracy theories, Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin said Wednesday.
“The Presidents [Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela] talked a few days before the meeting with Capriles. I don’t know what Maduro told the president when he said he was going to meet with Capriles,” Holguin told W Radio.
The meeting with Capriles, who accuses Maduro of having won presidential elections earlier this year through fraud, spurred an unexpected and furious reaction from the Venezuelan government that threatened to retreat its support for peace talks between Bogota and rebel group FARC, and revealed an alleged conspiracy to overthrow the socialist leadership from Colombia.
While Colombia tried to ease tensions and solve Venezuela’s apparent anger through diplomatic channels, Caracas amplified its conspiracy theory, claiming that Capriles had bough war planes in the US that would be stationed in Colombia to carry out an attack on Venezuelan soil.
Colombia’ foreign minister told W Radio that she plans to discuss the alleged plane conspiracy with her Venezuelan counterpart Elias Jaua, but discarded the possibility of asking the UN to investigate the accusation as was proposed by Vice-President Angelino Garzon.
“We haven’t thought about the United Nations. We ourselves can, in an openly manner, resolve our problems with Venezuela, said Holguin, adding that she ” deeply respects the opinions of the vice-president, but the relationship with Venezuela can be fixed without international organisms.”
Venezuela has not spoken this harshly about its neighbor since Santos took office in August 2010 and made the improvement of the relationship between the two countries a top priority. Before Santos assumed power, Venezuela had frozen relations in 2010 over accusations by Uribe, who accused the Chavez administration of aiding the FARC.