Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Ruined consulate reflects years of conflict between Colombia and Venezuela

Without doors or windows, its walls covered with graffiti, the Venezuelan Consulate in the Colombian capital is in ruins. The vandalized structure with a trash-strewn lawn sticks out like a sore thumb in the upscale north Bogota neighborhood. The lone police officer standing guard is in no position to keep out intruders or even to stop passers-by from dumping garbage, including – on the occasion of Efe’s visit – a used tire. (https://www.laprensalatina.com/derelict-consulate-reflects-years-of-strain-between-colombia-and-venezuela/) Links between Caracas and Bogota have been troubled for years and the relationship broke down entirely in 2019. Colombia’s consulate in Caracas remained intact during the rupture, newly appointed Colombian Ambassador Armando Benedetti said after arriving in the Venezuelan capital. In April, the Venezuelan government submitted a formal complaint about a fire at the consulate in Bogota as a result of “permanent vandalization” and demanded that Colombia’s then-president, Ivan Duque, render “due respect and protection” to Venezuela’s diplomatic missions. The ceilings of the building still bear traces of the fire and the graffiti on the internal walls are accompanied by clothing and mattresses apparently belonging to homeless people. All of the furniture was stolen within months of the diplomatic breach, to be followed by the windows, doors and other fixtures. The new Venezuelan envoy to Colombia, Felix Plasencia, said this week that restoring the consulate and other diplomatic outposts would be a priority.

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