As Colombians go to the polling booths to vote in the country’s presidential elections, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he hopes the next president will abandon “war and aggression against other peoples,” reported EFE on Sunday.
Chavez spoke live Sunday morning on his weekly radio and television show “Alo Presidente.”
“May God enlighten the people of Colombia to seek the path of peace, of true brotherhood,” said the Venezuelan president. He called for the neighboring country’s next leader to stay away from the path “of the war of aggression against other peoples” and to work for “peace and integration in South America, in this new America, in this new world.”
Chavez sent his best wishes to the people of Colombia and expressed feelings of unity with the Andean nation.
“We salute the … people of Bolivar, because Bolivar is also the father of Colombia. Long live Colombia and long live the people of Colombia!”
He concluded that “we will await the results tonight.”
President Chavez froze diplomatic relations with Colombia last year and tensions have since been running high between the two nations. The Venezuelan president has said in the past that relations will not be normalized between the two countries until a new president is in power in Colombia.
Chavez said Friday that he hoped the next Colombian president “will be a person to talk with and reach at minimum an agreement of respect.”