Commission member Aurora Morales, appearing on Venezuelan state television, called Uribe a “worn-out figure” and said that Venezuelan congressmen are wondering “Why would we negotiate with a fallen president?”
Morales’ comments back those of Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro on Sunday that the socialist nation should “await the outcome of presidential elections in Colombia and await the arrival of a new president to go forward.”
Maduro cancelled a meeting scheduled with Dominican President Leonel Fernandez in Santo Domingo on Monday, blaming “scheduling reasons.” Mediating country the Dominican Republic had called the meeting to discuss the socialist nation’s severed diplomatic relations with Colombia.
The Dominican Republic is heading a “group of friend countries” formed following a shouting match between the Colombian and Venezuelan heads of state at a summit in Mexico. The group hope to mediate the normalization of relations between the feuding neighbors.
In a radio interview Monday, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe called on Colombians to not feel pressured by “foreign governments” over the choice of its next president in the upcoming May presidential elections.
This will be Uribe’s last term as president, following a Constitutional Court ruling that found a proposed referendum to allow his re-election to be unconstitutional.
Former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos was launched as Partido de la U’s presidential candidate on Monday evening. Santos leads opinion polls as the most popular presidential candidate.
In March 2009, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called Santos “an enemy of Venezuela” who is a “threat to the peace of South America.”
This history of strained relations between Venezuela and front-runner presidential candidate Santos casts into doubt the future of diplomatic relations between the two nations.