Former Minister for Agriculture Andres Felipe Arias used his speech at the “Conservative Party Thought in the 21st Century,” forum to attack Colombia’s renewed ties with Venezuela, W Radio reported Thursday.
Arias referred to Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, as an “oppressive tyrant,” and a “deranged dictator,” before taking aim at President Juan Manuel Santos’ and Chavez’s proclamations last year that they are “new best friends.”
The politician, a former presidential hopeful who was referred to as “Uribito” for his closeness to ex-President Alvaro Uribe, said ”That dictator who tortures political prisoners and censors ideas will never be the friend of people with [our] line of thought.”
Under Santos, Colombia and Venezuela have experienced a thaw in previously difficult diplomatic relations, which broke down under Uribe.
A Colombian delegation of Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados and Defense Minister Rodrigo Rivera travelled to Venezuela on Wednesday to discuss establishing new agreements on trade and border security.