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Gustavo Petro, last Thursday appointed former senator Armando Benedetti as new ambassador to Venezuela, while Nicolás Maduro announced former foreign minister Félix Plasencia as new representative in Colombia. Gustavo Petro's Instagram.
Last Thursday, Aug. 11, President Gustavo Petro appointed former senator Armando Benedetti as new ambassador to Venezuela, while Nicolás Maduro announced former foreign minister Félix Plasencia as new representative in Colombia. Photo: Instagram.

U.S. respects Gustavo Petro's decision to restore relations with Nicolás Maduro

On Wednesday, Aug. 17, the U.S. State Department said it respected the will of the new Colombian president.

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While the U.S. said it would respect Colombia's efforts to reestablish relations with Venezuela, it also reiterated its commitment to recover democracy in the latter.

"We respect the sovereign right of governments to establish diplomatic relations," a U.S. State Department spokesman told EFE when asked about the appointment of Armando Benedetti as the new Colombian ambassador to Venezuela.

"We also call on democratic governments to respect democratic norms that have been violated by dictatorial regimes such as Maduro's in Venezuela," they added.

Both countries share a border of 2,219 kilometers, and have not had diplomatic relations since Feb. 23, 2019.

New Colombian President Gustavo Petro appointed former senator Armando Benedetti as the new ambassador to Venezuela on Aug. 11, while Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced former foreign minister Félix Plasencia as the new ambassador in Colombia.

Following the reopening announcements, Petro stated that this would expand trade and allow for the crossing of people.

The U.S. State Department spokesman said the United States remains "firmly committed to the Venezuelan people" and will continue to work with the international community "to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law" in the South American country.

President Joe Biden's administration recognizes the opposition Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela and thinks "Nicolás Maduro's mismanagement has led Venezuelans to one of the worst economic and humanitarian crises outside of a war in modern history."

The spokesman stressed that the U.S. has provided humanitarian aid to Venezuela since 2017 worth more than $1.9 billion, and also called for there to be no "obstacles" preventing this aid from entering the South American nation.

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