Venezuela and Colombia will officially resume diplomatic relations today. The reappointment of ambassadors follows the election of Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s
Venezuela and Colombia will officially resume diplomatic relations today.
The reappointment of ambassadors follows the election of Gustavo Petro, Colombia’s first left-wing president. Relations with Venezuela reached a nadir in 2015 under Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, when a border crisis saw Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro close key border crossings and deport Colombians within the country. Conditions continued to deteriorate until Maduro fully severed diplomatic ties in 2019.
The resumption of ties embodies the change many hoped Petro’s presidency would bring after decades of conservative rule, and follows a wider South American trend towards left-leaning political leadership. One of Petro’s campaign promises had been to repair relations with Venezuela, one of the continent’s most ideologically socialist countries.
Expect the resumption of official diplomatic ties to pave the way for further improvements in relations between Venezuela and Colombia. A full reopening of the border is a likely first step, which will do much to reinvigorate trade and help ameliorate Venezuela’s ongoing economic crisis. Furthermore, expect renewed Colombian efforts to send medical and food aid to Venezuela. In the past, Maduro has vigorously resisted delivery attempts. Doing so will aid both sides, helping Maduro achieve greater stability and giving Petro tangible diplomatic victories early in his presidency.