Diplomatic ties between Colombia and Venezula were “fully restored” on Friday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said after high government officials from both countries met in Caracas.
The two countries’ foreign ministers set up five bilateral commissions in charge of working out the details of normalizing and optimizing issues regarding trade and security. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos also sent his Defense, Transport and Trade Ministers to take part in the talks.
Chavez told press said he had talked to Santos to confirm both countries’ intent to improve relations that were broke in July after former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe accused Venezuela of harboring FARC guerrillas. Trade had been virtually nullified in 2009 already when Colombia announced it would allow the U.S. military access to military bases, something Venezuela considered a threat to its sovereignty. When Venezuela froze trade it left an $800 million debt to Colombian exporters unpaid.
Following Chavez’ statement, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister told press that Venezuela would begin the payment of this debt, beginning with $200 million.