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Colombia Hosts Summit on Venezuelan Political Crisis

Colombian President Gustavo Petro kicked off the summit on Venezuela that seeks to restart negotiations between Venezuela’s government and the opposition that began in Mexico in 2021 but have been stalled since November.

During the installation of the meeting in Bogota on Tuesday, President Petro spoke of the need to lift sanctions imposed on Venezuela.

He said that it was necessary to “establish the timetable for the elections and their guarantees, and that the Venezuelan people can decide freely and sovereignly what they want”. He also spoke about the lifting of sanctions imposed by the United States.

“It is the Venezuelans, no one else, who have to decide their own future,” Petro said.

At the summit, there are representatives from Türkiye, the United States, Germany, Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Spain, France, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom and South Africa.

On Monday, President Nicolas Maduro said from Caracas that he hopes that the Bogota Summit will contribute to achieving the lifting of all the sanctions against Venezuela.

The meeting begins amid the controversial departure of Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido, who arrived in Miami on Tuesday after entering and leaving Colombia the previous day.

“After sixty hours on the road to get to Bogota, escaping the persecution of the dictatorship, defying the Maduro regime, they are taking me out of Colombia,” said Guaido on a plane in Bogota, about to fly off to the United States.

However, Colombia’s Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva said Guaido, who arrived in Colombia in an “irregular manner”, was taken to the capital city’s airport for a “departure on a commercial airline to the United States during the night.” Leyva said Guaido had purchased the tickets before.

The opposition figure left Caracas last Saturday by land and arrived on Monday in Colombian territory. In a statement published on his Twitter account, he said he had crossed the border “on foot” and intended to meet with international delegates in Bogota.

Source : aa