Photo: Armando Benedetti (L), Colombia’s new ambassador to Venezuela, greets Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro (R). Source: Twitter.
On Sunday, Venezuela’s Deputy Foreign Minister Rander Peña Ramírez welcomed the new Ambassador of Colombia to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, in Caracas, signaling the resumption of bilateral diplomatic ties after a three-year break. The countries severed ties in 2019 after former Colombian President Iván Duque recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela. During his visit, Benedetti also met with Maduro in the Miraflores Palace, where they spoke about the urgency to reestablish their friendship. Benedetti’s Venezuelan counterpart, Ambassador Felix Plasencia, plans to meet Colombian President Gustavo Petro in the coming days.
Petro appointed Benedetti as ambassador to Venezuela on August 11, four days after his inauguration, as a step to fulfill his campaign promise of normalizing relations with Colombia’s neighbor. On Saturday, Petro also said he would suspend arrest warrants and extradition requests for members of the National Liberation Army (ELN) to restart peace talks. Restarting talks with the ELN represents another Petro-campaign promise.