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News > Colombia

Summit on Venezuelan Political Situation Kicks Off in Bogota

  • Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogota, Colombia, April 25, 2023.

    Colombian President Gustavo Petro in Bogota, Colombia, April 25, 2023. | Photo: teleSUR

Published 25 April 2023

Venezuela greeted the International Conference and reiterated its interest in the removal of all sanctions and the release of diplomat Alex Saab.

On Tuesday, the "International Conference on the Political Process in Venezuela" kicked off in Bogota under the leadership of Colombian President Gustavo Petro.


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"This conference has many expectations. And when great hopes are generated, great disappointments might also be generated. I hope it doesn't happen like that," he said in his opening speech and recalled the importance of what will be discussed.

"In South America there are two major issues: the peace process in Colombia and the political dialogue in Venezuela. Both countries depend on these processes," Petro stressed.

The Colombian President also recalled that the contemporary history of Latin America has been marked by the struggle of the peoples for social justice, which unleashed in the 20th century dictatorships that violated the political rights of millions of citizens.

"Will we go back to the time of dictatorships, blood, and war? Part of the work we will carry out has to do with defining whether we will walk towards love or towards war," he said to emphasize the importance of the analysis of what is happening in South America.

"In Latin America, the democratic project can be deeper, richer, and more multicolored than the projects produced in Europe. In a certain way, Latin American history is in our hands," Petro stressed.

After proposing the Inter-American Human Rights System as the basis for a new great democratic pact in Latin America, Petro emphasized the importance of lifting the sanctions that the United States and its allies maintain against the Bolivarian Revolution.

"Venezuelan society does not want to be sanctioned because the sanctions have fallen on the Venezuelan people... America cannot be a space for sanctions but a space for freedoms and democracy," he said and called for the establishment of two schedules, one for the holding of elections in Venezuela and another for the lifting of sanctions against Venezuela.

Petro ended his inaugural speech by expressing that he wants the Conference to produce concrete results that allow the fulfillment of the wishes of the Bolivarian people "without anyone putting pressure on Venezuelans from outside" to make decisions against their will.

"Hopefully the recommendations we make are well received by the Venezuelan government and the opposition," the Colombian president concluded.

On Tuesday, the International Conference convened representatives from Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Turkey, South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

This event seeks to analyze the need to advance in the implementation of the "Second Partial Agreement for the Social Protection of the Venezuelan People," which was agreed in Mexico in November 2022 and sought to unlock US$3.6 billion in Venezuelan assets blocked abroad.

The Bolivarian government greeted the Bogota Summit and reiterated its interest in the removal of all sanctions and the release of diplomat Alex Saab.

The International Conference includes the participation of personalities such as the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell and foreign ministers Santiago Cafiero (Argentina), Alberto van Klaveren (Chile), and Celso Amorim (Brazil).

The U.S. is represented by White House Adviser for Latin America Juan Gonzalez, the Special Adviser for the Americas Chris Dodd, and Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathan Finer.

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