The relationship between Colombia and Venezuela has been “a bit cold” after frictions that followed the visit of Venezuela’s opposition leader to Bogota, Colombia’s foreign minister said Monday.
According to Minister Maria Angela Holguin, “the relationship is a bit cold, but we are talking. At no time the dialogue with Venezuela has broken, which I believe is very important.”
The relationship between the two countries appeared fine until May when Henrique Capriles, Venezuela’s opposition leader and political rival of President Nicolas Maduro, visited Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during his first stop on an international tour.
Caracas subsequently accused Colombia of being part of a conspiracy to overthrow Venezuela’s leftist government. At the same time, Colombian authorities at the border accused Venezuelan state forces of violating Colombia’s sovereignty in attempts to extort indigenous peoples living along the border.
By mid June, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said Santos and Maduro would “soon” meet to discuss the conspiracy accusations. This meeting has not taken place.
According to Holguin, she did meet with her Venezuelan counterpart at the latest OAS summit it Guatemala.
“We were talking about all issues we differ on and we are, I believe, close to resuming the path we have been on for the past two years and a half,” the minister told reporters.
Following years of tensions between former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) and his then-Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez (1999-2013), Santos prioritized optimizing the relationship with Colombia’s neighbor to the east.