Caracas, September 7 (teleSUR-RHC)-- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivered a speech on Sunday while visiting Jamaica as part of his official trip to lead the bicentennial commemoration of the “Jamaica Letter,” one of the most important documents written by South American liberator Simon Bolivar.
During his address, the Venezuelan leader mentioned the ongoing bilateral dispute with neighboring Colombia, emphasizing the need to diffuse tensions through dialogue.
Maduro also issued a personal request to his Colombian Counterpart Manuel Santos stating, “My hand is extended, President Santos. We can speak when you want, where you want and with an open agenda without any conditions.”
However, the Venezuelan president went on to criticize Colombian media outlets for their role in escalating the conflict by promoting “hateful messages.”
Private media outlets in Colombia, which are generally hostile toward the Maduro government, have tried to paint the Venezuelan government as anti-Colombian.
However, Venezuela hosts 176,000 Colombian refugees and more than 5 million Colombians call Venezuela home.
Tensions between the two countries sparked when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the border with Colombia closed after paramilitaries attacked Venezuelan soldiers who were patrolling the border.
Maduro also declared a state of exception in a handful of municipalities on the border in order to address the presence of paramilitaries within Venezuela's borders.