Colombian President Gustavo Petro sets off for his fourth visit to Venezuela to discuss Venezuelan migration and propose a Latin American summit addressing the looming drought crisis.
Photo: Cristian Garavito - Presidency
Latin American Post Staff
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Leer en español: Misión diplomática de Petro para fortalecer lazos con Venezuela para la estabilidad regional
Diplomatic Talks on Migration and Summit Plans
In a move that signifies a deepening of diplomatic relations, Colombian President Gustavo Petro is gearing up for his fourth visit to Venezuela this Saturday. The primary focus of his meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro revolves around two pressing issues: the migration crisis and a potential summit of Latin American countries to tackle the imminent threat of drought.
This latest diplomatic effort by Petro was confirmed in his statement to the press following his participation in the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leaders' Summit. The meeting, scheduled for Saturday, will see Petro discussing migration, a topic he briefly touched upon in a recent meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden. Petro has consistently advocated for lifting economic sanctions against Venezuela, believing that it would significantly increase the likelihood of Venezuelan migrants returning home under more favorable conditions.
Addressing the Impending Drought Crisis
Another critical agenda item is the impending drought crisis, which is expected to intensify in December. Petro has expressed a desire to host a summit in Venezuela involving vital regional players like Brazil, Panama, and Ecuador. The goal is to discuss greater energy integration and the development of clean energy networks to mitigate the effects of drought and the broader climate crisis.
However, recent political shifts in Ecuador have delayed this proposed summit, with Petro citing the impossibility of organizing the meeting until after November 30th. This plan was initially offered following a brief visit to Bogotá by outgoing Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, where an agreement was reached for Colombia to supply energy to Ecuador. This agreement aims to alleviate the energy shortages caused by drought conditions affecting Ecuador's primary hydroelectric facilities.
Regional Energy Assistance and Collaboration
Colombia and Ecuador share an electrical interconnection with a capacity of 400 kilowatts, allowing mutual energy assistance during crises. Moreover, Colombia seeks to establish a similar arrangement with Panama, which shares a dense border with Colombia in the Darién Gap region, absent of the Pan-American Highway, and with Venezuela, where previous attempts have been made.
President Petro's visit is more than a diplomatic formality; it's a strategic move towards regional integration and cooperation. In a world increasingly affected by climate change and geopolitical shifts, such initiatives are crucial for maintaining stability and fostering sustainable development in the region. As Petro prepares to embark on this significant journey, the eyes of Latin America and the world will be watching, hoping for positive outcomes that could pave the way for a more interconnected and resilient Latin America.