ColombiaOne.comColombia newsColombia Postpones Investment in Venezuela Due to its Political Situation

Colombia Postpones Investment in Venezuela Due to its Political Situation

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Colombia Venezuela
Colombia postpones investment in Venezuela due to situation of opposition leader Machado – Credit: @MariaCorinaYa / X

The Colombian Congress has postponed investment in Venezuela due to the situation of the opposition leader, Maria Corina Machado. The presidential candidate was disqualified by the justice system of that country and will not be able to run as a unity candidate and alternative to President Nicolas Maduro in the elections to be held this year in Venezuela.

The House of Representatives, one of the two arms of the legislative power in Colombia, postponed the vote on an investment agreement until the political future of the opposition leader is clarified. All this, while the silence of the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro, on Machado’s disqualification in the neighboring country continues.

Legislative condemns persecution in Venezuela

It was the representative of the conservative Democratic Center, Jose Jaime Uscategui, who presented for the consideration of the chamber the proposal to postpone the vote on the investment agreement with Venezuela. Uscategui requested a deferred vote on one of the items of the legislative agenda to “approve the Agreement between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Republic of Colombia regarding the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments, signed in Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on February 3, 2023”.

Finally, with 68 votes in favor and 35 against, the chamber decided to postpone the vote on the trade agreement with Venezuela. Among the dissenting voters were several members of the Pacto Historico, the coalition that supports the government of President Petro, but also some representatives of the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party and the Green Alliance.

Opposition representative Uscategui requested in writing not to debate the investment issue “until the political future of María Corina Machado is clarified and full electoral guarantees are provided to the opposition in the neighboring country”.

President Petro calls for “free elections” in Venezuela

Meanwhile, Colombian President Gustavo Petro called for “free elections” in Venezuela a few days ago, but remained silent on the situation of opposition candidate Machado.

“Colombia is interested (in seeing) that Venezuelan society lives in peace, in deep democracy and returns to economic and social welfare”, wrote the president in his social networks. Likewise, the Colombian head of state insisted that the United States must put an end to the sanctions weighing on Venezuela. “The blockade must be lifted and there must be free elections”, he added in his writing in X.

The Colombian president also expressed that “what produced the Venezuelan migration by the millions is called economic blockade and a Colombian government helped to (create it)”, asserting that the blockade on oil exports has only served to impoverish the population and to increase the suffering of civilians.

Petro blamed former U.S. President Donald Trump and former Colombian President Ivan Duque (2018-2022) for the immediate impoverishment that migration has generated. “Their women and young people were humiliated in our countries and now migrants are marching by the millions to the US. The profoundly mistaken policy of Duque and Trump created a new (source) of violence that explodes in all societies of America,” explained Gustavo Petro.

Presidential call for change in Venezuela policy

The Colombian president also called for a change of policy with Venezuela, after, he said, the evident failure of the sanctions. Petro offered to mediate between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the Venezuelan opposition. In April 2023, he organized a summit in Bogota with representatives of the countries of the region and the European Union, which did not reach any agreement.

For its part, the United States asked the Colombian head of state to facilitate mediation with Nicolas Maduro, but so far there is no public acceptance of this offer.

The Venezuelan diaspora, which began in 2014, has seen millions of citizens of that country emigrating. Initially, the recipients were nearby countries. Colombia hosts today more than 2.8 million Venezuelans; Peru, more than 1.5 million; Brazil, Ecuador and Chile, host almost half a million each, and so on; in total almost eight million Venezuelans have left the country.

The crisis is worsening and now this same population, together with citizens from other Central American and Caribbean countries, are trying to reach the United States through its southern border. The migratory crisis that the country is experiencing has given rise to criticism against President Biden’s administration, in an election year in which the debate on how the United States manages the migratory phenomenon will be a central point of the campaign.

Colombia Venezuela
The immigration crisis in the U.S. has worsened in recent years- Credit: DHS OIG / Wikipedia

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