ColombiaOne.comColombia newsColombia and the “Quiet Transition” in Venezuela

Colombia and the “Quiet Transition” in Venezuela


Colombia Venezuela transition
Controversy over the words of the Colombian foreign minister who assures that his country is working for “a smooth transition” in Venezuela – Credit: Alexa Rochi / Presidency of Colombia

Colombia and the ‘quiet transition’ in Venezuela have sparked a new controversy among the political sectors of both countries. The trigger was some statements made by the Colombian Foreign Minister, Luis Gilberto Murillo, this week at the Washington Annual Conference.

In Washington, Murillo referred to the Colombian president’s proposal as “aiming to ensure a smooth transition” in Venezuela, which provoked an angry response from Diosdado Cabello, a Venezuelan deputy and one of the most influential political figures in the country.

During a Venezuelan television program, Cabello accused Minister Murillo of working for the United States rather than for Colombia, while asserting that the “only transition” happening in Venezuela is towards socialism.

Colombian Foreign Minister’s Statements

The Colombian Foreign Minister participated in the 54th Annual Washington Conference on May 8th. During the Council of the Americas photo session, Murillo engaged in a dialogue with Director Sudan Segal, discussing various topics, primarily focusing on his country’s relations with the United States, which, according to the diplomat, are currently in a very good state.

One of the topics Murillo addressed was the situation in Venezuela, a country set to hold presidential elections on July 28th. Among other statements, Luis Gilberto Murillo defended the role of Colombian diplomacy concerning the neighboring country. “That is the new process we are currently working on, which will ensure a smooth transition after the elections,” stated the Colombian minister, who also noted that the Venezuelan crisis is a concern for Colombia due to the presence of over 2.5 million Venezuelan migrants in the country.

Murillo expressed Colombia’s hope that the elections “are fair, obviously competitive, free, and that we at least have an acceptable electoral process.” Additionally, he emphasized that his country has been supporting the negotiation process initiated in Mexico, aimed at advancing democratic opening and lifting sanctions.

“President Petro is engaging with the Venezuelan government, obviously, but also with the opposition. I have been in conversations with opposition leaders perhaps over the past year and a half here in Washington. And what we are trying to do at this moment is to see if all candidates can reach an agreement to provide some form of safeguard or guarantees for the post-election period so that everyone can participate freely,” clarified Minister Murillo.

Diosdado Cabello responds to Colombia’s “offensive” words

Diosdado Cabello, vice president of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and considered the number two figure in the Venezuelan government, responded to the Colombian minister’s comments on a state television program.

Cabello described Murillo’s words as “offensive” and “unfriendly,” questioning the role of the Colombian Foreign Minister as the chief diplomatic representative of President Gustavo Petro’s government.

“Who sent you to make that statement? Your Colombian president or your United States president? Who do you work for? Who gives you the right to speak about transition in Venezuela? (…) Here, the only transition coming is the transition to socialism, there is no other,” he asserted in a challenging style on a program on the state channel VTV.

Cabello added, “This is an American official, he does not work for the Colombian Government, (…) and he spoke in English so that the bosses over there in the United States understand him. (…) Focus on the internal affairs of Colombia, which has problems, serious problems, instead of meddling in the internal affairs of Venezuela.”

In response to these statements, the Colombian minister replied with a Spanish saying, “To foolish words, deaf ears,” said Murillo, who also added that “today we had a productive and sincere meeting with the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Yvan Gil, where we expressed our concerns, but we have always maintained a very fluid diplomatic dialogue, and that is the official voice of the Government of Venezuela”.

See all the latest news from Colombia and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow Colombia One on Google News, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and subscribe here to our newsletter.