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The Biden Administration said Wednesday that it respects the will of the new Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, to restore diplomatic relations with the dictatorial regime of Nicolás Maduro while reiterating its commitment to “recover democracy” in Venezuela.
“We respect the sovereign right of governments to establish diplomatic relations,” a State Department spokesman told EFE when asked about the appointment of Armando Benedetti as the new Colombian ambassador to Venezuela.
“We also call on democratic governments to respect democratic norms that have been violated by dictatorial regimes such as Maduro’s in Venezuela,” the same source added.
Colombia and Venezuela, which share a 2,219-kilometer border, haven’t had diplomatic relations since they were broken on February 23, 2019, by order of Maduro, amid escalating tensions with his then-Colombian peer, Iván Duque, over the latter’s support for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
The new Colombian president, socialist and former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, however, appointed last Thursday former senator Armando Benedetti as the new ambassador to Venezuela, while Maduro announced former foreign minister Felix Plasencia as the new Venezuelan representative in Colombia.
Following these announcements, Petro stated that the opening of the common border should be extended to trade and not only to the crossing of people.