President Biden and Colombian President Met in White House

( – US President Joe Biden met with counterpart from Colombia Gustavo Petro at the White House on Thursday, where they discussed different issues such as migration, drug policy, climate change and the Venezuelan crisis.

In a statement, the Colombian left-wing leader reiterated a crucial aspect of his clean-energy platform by calling for every government in the Americas to ditch their reliance on coal, gas, and oil. Petro said that the Americas has the biggest potential “for green energies” and for democracy and freedom.

In the meantime, President Biden echoed the Colombian leader’s call for closer cooperation between Bogota and Washington to tackle the international drug trafficking. The US commander-in-chief also praised President Petro for his platform of “total peace,” which experts have criticized as they believe this provides impunity to some of the worst criminals in Colombia, including paramilitary and guerrilla warlords.

One of the main topics in the meeting was the Venezuelan economic and political crisis, as President Petro has made an unsurprising U-turn and reestablished relations with the socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro. In a statement to reporters after the meeting, the Colombian leader said that he and President Biden agreed on a common “strategy” that might end with the United States lifting some of the economic sanctions imposed against Venezuela if Maduro fulfills an “electoral agenda.”

During a Thursday morning press conference, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Washington was going to reevaluate its policy towards Caracas if it took serious and “constructive steps” to restore democracy. Kirby added that the White House has shown its full willingness to punish Maduro’s actions in case he fails to fulfill his commitments or negotiate in good faith.

While both leaders agreed that the White House will ease some economic sanctions in exchange for free and fair elections, media outlets in Venezuela and Colombia said Petro asked Biden to ease the sanctions first.

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