Venezuela’s acting president, Nicolas Maduro, said on Monday he would work for a lasting peace in Colombia if elected president at the presidential elections in April.
“When I become president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, directly chosen by the people, I will put myself in the service of [Colombian president Juan Manuel] Santos, in the parts of the conflict, to help Colombia to peace,” said Maduro, the presidential candidate from the ruling PSUV party, from the Venezuelan capital of Caracas.
The chosen successor of Hugo Chavez said Venezuela was “completely committed” to peace in Colombia.
“This was the most intimate and profound desire of the commander Chavez, peace for the people in Colombia, that the [gates] are opened to allow a path were there is reconciliation.”
The government of Colombia is currently engaged in peace talks with the country’s largest rebel group, FARC, in Havana, Cuba.
Colombia’s president Santos made it a top priority to mend relations with Venezuela after taking office in 2010. His predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, kept a sometimes hostile relation with the government of the neighbouring country, accusing it of actively helping FARC guerrillas.
The Venezuelan constitution stipulates that new elections must be held within thirty days should the current head of state die or resign before four years into the presidency. New elections will be held on April 14, when Maduro will run against Henrique Capriles, a centrist former mayor of Caracas and the main representative of the opposition MUD coalition.
- Nicolás Maduro promete apoyar diálogos de paz Gobierno – Farc (El Espectador)