September 30, 2022

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Pedro’s “total peace” also runs through Venezuela and Cuba

Colombian Foreign Minister Alvaro Leyva and his Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, in Havana.Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Renewed Efforts to Achieve It”Complete silence” In Colombia, specifically for the reopening of A Conversations with ELN guerrillasThey also go through Caracas and Havana. Dissolution on both ends is rapid, almost instantaneous. His first week was enough for Gustavo Pedro to restore ever-difficult relations with Venezuela’s Chavista government, which has been completely fractured since 2019, and to straighten them with Cuba, which suffered the most from the diplomatic hostility of Ivan’s tenure. Duke. Bogotá’s new foreign policy has boldly taken its first steps.

Colombia marks the path of the new Latin American left, but must relate to the old. President Pedro has put diplomacy at the service of peace, and he wants to implement with greater determination the agreement with the FARC, dialogue with the ELN and advance a policy of submission to the groups criminals. Like Clan del Golfo. The foreign policy “will aim to uphold his legacy as Colombia’s first left-wing leader by focusing on normalizing relations with Venezuela and Cuba,” according to a forecast by the consulting firm Colombia Risk Analysis of the president’s first 100 days. .

Although Pedro tried to distance himself from authoritarian regimes such as Cuba and Venezuela during the campaign, both countries, for different reasons, played an important role in the initial negotiations with the ELN, which enjoyed early regional support – even Boric offered Chile as an alternative place on the dialogue table.

The week left important milestones on both ends. On the one hand, Pedro and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro crystallized their approaches. Appoint respective ambassadors: Armando Benedetti will settle in Caracas and Felix Placencia in Bogotá, with the aim of renewing both diplomatic and Commercial The two neighbors, which share a border of more than 2,200 kilometers, have been tense for years. On the other hand, a delegation of the Colombian government went to Cuba, where it announced its recognition of the ELN negotiators who have been stuck on the island for years. He approved the decision to renegotiate with the last active guerrilla in Colombia, which has bilateral status due to its poor presence in Venezuela.

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Havana Conversations

“There is no peace process that does not exist in Cuba A significant and important role for Colombia, which was blocked and devalued by the last government”, Senator Ivan Cepeda, part of the assessment delegation He traveled to Havana with the Foreign Minister Alvaro Leiva and Peace Commissioner Danilo Ruda, who were accompanied by international and church representatives. “The previous government conditioned dialogue with the ELN for four years. This indifference hampered the role of guarantor countries [Cuba y Noruega], and allowed violence to fester in territories such as Catatumbo and Arauca. “In 24 hours, the entire peace government made amends in Cuba and opened the way for dialogue,” announced Cepeda of the Senate Peace Commission. plays an important role.

The gorilla National Liberation Army Born precisely under the influence of half a century ago The Cuban Revolution. The government of Juan Manuel Santos signed a historic peace accord with the FARC at the end of 2016 and launched numerous attempts to negotiate with the ELN that have not ended. In early 2019, the ELN carried out a car bomb attack against a school for police cadets in Bogotá, killing twenty people. The attack detonated a process that had already languished since the release of Santos in August 2018, when Duque criticized the accords with the FARC.

The rupture had profound diplomatic consequences. After the attack, Duke ignored the protocols signed by the parties, including the guarantor countries, leaving the ELN delegation in Cuba in disarray. The island has refused to hand over the negotiating leadership, which is protected by the protocol, prompting hostility from Bogotá. In the United States, Donald Trump’s administration has declared Cuba “”State sponsor of terrorism”, in January 2021, justifying his decision on Duke’s claims. Leyva, the new Colombian foreign minister, called from Havana to end that qualification, saying it “attempted to ignore Cuba’s commitment to peace.” “We will be at the service requested by both parties,” said his Cuban representative, Bruno Rodriguez. Although relations between Colombia and the United States are still an open question in the new political cycle, reparations, at least, seem complete.

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“Default” with Caracas

Another highly sensitive front is reestablishing ties with Venezuela. Both countries have already agreed to a “gradual normalization” to turn sides after years of irreconcilable differences under Duque, who does not recognize Maduro and has given his unreserved support to opposition leader Juan Guaido. Both capitals propose To restore trade And move on reopening Vehicular traffic from formal crossings along the border with illegal routes, Controlled by armed groups and through which all kinds of contraband are filtered. The border line is also a forced passage for migrants, one of the largest population flows in the world. 2.5 million Venezuelans Based in Colombia.

The agenda between Bogotá and Caracas is not limited to armed actors, but eventual peace negotiations also emerge strongly in this complex panorama. The ELN, characterized by a confederal structure, is today a very strong guerrilla group with high military potential. Over the past four years, it has expanded into northeastern Colombia, along the border with Venezuela, and moved toward a bilateral guerilla form, part of the Duque government’s strategic mistakes in handling bilateral relations. and the historical absence of a border control policy, Analysis indicates Ideas for Peace Foundation published in this newspaper. systems like Human Rights Watch (HRW) Denouncing the Venezuelan security forces as allies of the ELN, “Collaborative activities”.

Bogotá’s main interest in normalizing relations with Caracas, rather than improving border conditions or solving the migrant situation, is in Venezuela “being an active part of the negotiating table with the LN, a constructive presence, as Santos did. [Hugo] Chávez during negotiations with the FARC”, points out the internationalist Sandra PortaTeacher Why are we so parochial? A Brief International History of Colombia. The authenticity of any dialogue goes through the international group, in which many bands play. In its first days, the fledgling government has already marked the place it wants Colombian diplomacy to occupy.

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