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Montevideo, August 8th 2022 - 04:42 UTC

 

 

Duque will not welcome Maduro in Colombia for Petro's inauguration

Monday, July 4th 2022 - 09:39 UTC
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“As long as I am the president of the republic, Nicolás Maduro will not enter Colombian territory,” Duque said in an interview “As long as I am the president of the republic, Nicolás Maduro will not enter Colombian territory,” Duque said in an interview

Colombia's outgoing President Iván Duque said he will not allow Venezuelan leader Nicolán Maduro to attend the inauguration of his successor Gustavo Pedro on August 7 in Bogotá.

Duque said he took into account the large number of Venezuelan refugees in his country who had fled Maduro's regime. He also insisted Venezuela should hand over criminals sheltering in the country.

“Iván Duque, president of Colombia, does not recognize Nicolás Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela,” said the president in an interview with Semana magazine and insisted that the Foreign Ministry and the Military House were in charge of inauguration events.

”(...) As long as I am the president of the republic, Nicolás Maduro will not enter Colombian territory. If the next president wants to have him here in Colombia, he may do so once he has been sworn in as president. If he wants to give him that recognition and if he wants to make that invitation while I am the president of Colombia, Nicolás Maduro is not recognized as head of state of Venezuela,“ Duque stressed.

The outgoing Colombian head of state also admitted he was ”worried about Venezuela“ and recalled that over two million Venezuelans were living in Colombia under a special migratory status. ”Nicolás Maduro is a criminal against humanity,“ Duque underlined.

He added that Maduro was under investigation by the International Criminal Court, together with Tarek William Saab, Diosdado Cabello, and other members of his inner circle, who are all wanted for ”drug trafficking in the United States.“

Duque also admitted, however, that the rapprochements measures announced by Petro ”will improve commercial, economic relations, etc.,“ but insisted that Petro should make sure that talks with Venezuela's leadership needed to be fruitful for Colombia.

”The first thing that must be demanded to Maduro is to hand over the Colombian terrorists who are protected in that territory, to whom he has given sanctuary, money and has included them in all the lines of business of the 'cartel of the suns',“ Duque told Semana.

He also asked Petro to work out with Maduro the issue of illicit crops in the border areas between the two nations. ”Having a diplomatic, mellifluous, and armchair relationship with him, as we have had in other times, is not a good recipe.”

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