President of Colombia, Gustavo PedroRaised his counterpart from America, Joe BidenA strategy with As progress is made in the electoral process in Venezuela, sanctions against the country should be gradually lifted. Biden welcomed Pedro, the left’s first Colombian president, to the Oval Office of the White House this Thursday.
Biden emphasized that Colombia is “a cornerstone” of Latin America, and Pedro allowed himself to define the personal bond between the two as “best friends.”, he wrote on his Twitter account with a picture of the meeting. At the start of the meeting, the two exchanged views on Pedro’s 63rd birthday, which was on Wednesday. Biden congratulated Pedro, and he responded with a joke: “They say being 63 in this generation is like being 40 in the old days.” His US counterpart, 80, replied that he “absolutely agrees”.
A proposal for Venezuela
As for Venezuela, Petro He promised to put it on the table.One strategy is to hold elections first and then lift sanctionsOr gradually, to the extent that an electoral agenda is passed, those obstacles are also removed.” In particular, the Colombian president proposed a “two-track” process, which progresses in parallel.
One of those paths is the lifting of U.S. economic sanctions on Venezuela, the other a schedule for guaranteed elections in Venezuela, as well as the country’s return to the U.S. human rights body. Pedro’s idea is that these two aspects interact and progress in parallel until a point is reached. The Venezuelan people “will be able to decide their own destiny freely, without pressure and obstacles”.
The Biden administration is ready to lift sanctions on Venezuela, but only if concrete steps are taken to call free elections, strengthen human rights protections and fight corruption. In November last year, the US president allowed oil giant Chevron to resume its extraction operations in Venezuela on a limited basis.
Colombia will host an international conference in Venezuela next Tuesday where sanctions will be part of the agenda and will try to find ways to reactivate dialogue between Chavismo and the opposition, which has stalled since November. Neither the opposition nor Nicolas Maduro’s government will attend the meeting, which will feature foreign ministers from about 20 countries.
Additional assistance in drug policy
About the fight against drugs Pedro asked his US representative for more boats, more drones and more boats Stop the drug traffickers in Colombia. In statements to reporters after meeting with Biden at the White House, Pedro explained that the two spoke about the “war on drugs” that Colombians consider “failed” and that, for half a century, represents a good part of the relationship. America with Latin America.
“It’s one thing to smoke out a forest and some economically debilitated people, it’s another thing to harass drug traffickers.“Something done based on intelligence work, their assets and money are harassed,” Pedro distinguished, explaining that to harass these drug-trafficking businessmen, he requested additional assistance from the United States.
Appreciation for dealing with refugees
In this regard, he told reporters, Biden He emphasized that he has long considered Colombia to be a “crucial pillar” of the region: “We have a chance if we work hard to create an integrated, egalitarian, democratic and economically prosperous Western Hemisphere.” The Democratic leader thanked his guest He described Venezuela’s “hospitality” to refugees as “humane and generous.”.
Petro He said for his part It is common that Latin America developed “under the concept of democracy and freedom”. And? “There was never a war” between countries. “If we put these two pillars together, I think we’ll find the democracy, the freedom and the peaceful economy that the decarbonized economy demands of us, our common destiny, an America that will be a beacon for humanity.” said the Colombian president.
At the beginning of the meeting, the two leaders stressed the importance of the fight against climate change, the same day Biden asked Congress for $500 million in Amazon funding. The Democratic president pointed out that they talked about the power line between Colombia and Panama, which is hundreds of kilometers connecting the two countries.
Petro For his part Emphasized the importance of decarbonized economy. “Today humanity demands a profound economic change to protect the planet and life. From fossil capital, from fossil greed, from the accumulation that grows like a hurricane, and more and more broadly, the energies that extinguish humanity and life. To an economy that does not use coal, oil or gas,” he argued.
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