President Santos remains neutral in Venezuelan presidential election
The Colombian president received opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski in his office in Bogotá
Unofficial sources informed that the meeting lasted almost 30 minutes, even though it was scheduled to take 15 minutes only.
Soon after the meeting, Colombian authorities delivered the following communiqué:
"Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos received in his office Mr. Henrique Capriles, presidential candidate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
At the meeting, President Santos reaffirmed Colombia's neutrality with respect to the electoral process taking place in the neighboring country. He also addressed the need to continue harmonious efforts to foster Colombia-Venezuela relations. President Juan Manuel Santos hoped for a massive and peaceful participation of the Venezuelan people in the October 7 election.
The Head of State outlined the significant results achieved through the cooperation agreement entered into with the neighboring country, which have enabled a number of captures such as that of (Colombian drug lord) "Crazy Barrera," which occurred some hours ago (on Tuesday).
President Santos explained the progress achieved so far in the talks intended to put and end to the Colombian armed conflict, and particularly emphasized the permanent support of the Venezuelan Government and its role as a facilitator.
The President underscored how important it is for the two countries to keep bilateral relations above any electoral event."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."