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Until recently, Venezuela – the birthplace of the "Liberator" Simon Bolivar – was a free and rather wealthy country, boasting the world's largest proven oil reserves and a marvelous people.Today, those roles are being reversed: Just as Colombia's 50-year-old war against the FARC is ending, Venezuela is collapsing economically, socially and politically.We in Colombia always hope for Venezuela to prosper. That is why we – along with many other states and world leaders, including the Vatican and Pope Francis himself – are doing everything possible to encourage Venezuela's government, led by President Nicolas Maduro, and the opposition to reach an honorable solution to the crisis. That crisis is rooted in the ideas of the late Hugo Chavez, who became Venezuela's president in 1999 . Restoring relations with Venezuela did not mean that Chavez and I had to agree with each other's perspectives; that would have been impossible.Maduro, Chavez's hand-picked successor, has blamed Colombia for Venezuela's economic disaster.Colombia has called for negotiations to determine a fair and mutually acceptable solution to the grave disputes between Venezuela's government and the opposition.
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