Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said Thursday that he supports efforts by the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to address the deepening human rights situation in neighboring Venezuela.
UNASUR hopes to use its influence to push for a dialogue with the Venezuelan government and alleviate the violent crackdown launched in response to widespread opposition protests, according to the President’s Office.
During a Thursday launch of a human rights center in Bogota, President Santos indicated that the foreign ministers of the UNASUR member countries had met the previous day with opposition sectors from within Venezuela, international NGOs, and later with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in order to “lay out formulas to approach the current situation.”
“It interests all of us that the situation in Venezuela improves. Venezuela [hurting] hurts us all, and we want this situation to normalize,” said Colombia’s head of state.
Santos indicated that Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin has “done a lot to advance the start of dialogues between the opposition and the government” in Venezuela.
The president added that he believed Venezuela’s government had accepted the terms laid out to begin said dialogues.
“And I hope that through that dialogue we are able to ease the situation in Venezuela, that which should favorably have an effect on the defense of human rights in our beloved Venezuela,” concluded Santos.
- Presidente de Colombia respalda esfuerzos de Suramérica para mejorar situación en Venezuela (President’s Press Office)