Colombian President Gustavo Petro has announced he had picked former Senator Armando Benedetti to become Colombia's new ambassador to Caracas following his decision to resume full diplomatic ties with the administration of Nicolás Maduro.
I have decided in response to the Venezuelan government, which has appointed an ambassador, who will be responsible for normalizing diplomatic relations between the two countries, to appoint Armando Benedetti as Colombia's ambassador to Venezuela, waiting for the approval of that government, Petro told reporters.
Maduro had announced he had chosen former Foreign Minister and current director of the International Center for Productive Investment (CIIP) Félix Plasencia to head the diplomatic mission in the neighboring country. Ambassador Félix Plasencia will soon be in Bogotá, Maduro announced.
I will surprise him when we reach 10 billion dollars in trade when we benefit the more than 8 million Colombians living on the border. No imaginary line will separate us again as brothers. Thank you for your trust!,
Benedetti said on social media in an open message to the President. Benedetti was a key campaign player for Petro, who took office on Aug. 7.
Earlier this week, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said he would get in touch with his Colombian counterpart Iván Velásquez Gómez, in order to reestablish military relations between the two countries.
Colombia and Venezuela, who share a 2,219-kilometer border, had their diplomatic ties severed on February 23, 2019, amid tensions between Maduro and Colombia's then-President Iván Duque.
For Petro, the halting of binational relations with Venezuela caused many problems of illegality such as smuggling and the violation of human rights of the populations on both sides of the border.
Colombians and Venezuelans on the border are related, even by blood ties; that amount of violation of human rights is enormous, we will have to make a book about it, an investigation, hopefully with organizations specialized in the defense of human rights, what happened to the population that had to cross by trail, Petro insisted.