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Former Latin American presidents support the peace process and commend President Santos’ handling of the situation with Venezuela

• Former Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla congratulated the Colombian president for his “courage, firmness and conviction” in handling the border crisis with Venezuela.

• We must close ranks and generate public opinion to “win the battle for peace in Colombia”, former Mexican president Vicente Fox said.

Bogotá, August 26, 2015 (SIG).

Former Latin American presidents, gathered at the forum on “New Generation Democracy for the Americas”, stated their support for the peace process today and highlighted the way in which President Juan Manuel Santos has handled the humanitarian crisis in the border between Colombia and Venezuela.

In fact, former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos stated that under the leadership of President Santos peace may be reached after 50 years of conflict.

“What is at stake, beyond Colombia´s leadership and showing the world our capacities here in Latin America, is that united we can solve this 50 year conflict”, said the former Chilean president to President Santos.

And he added that “the Latin American countries should be under his leadership, supporting him in the struggle to achieve peace after 50 years”.

Courage and firmness

In turn, the former president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla, congratulated the Head of State for his “courage, firmness and conviction” in handling the border crisis with Venezuela.

Former president Chinchilla voiced her agreement regarding solving problems through dialogue.

“When there is a confrontation between governments that share similar values, such as respect for international law and the peaceful solution of conflicts among nations, then the conflicts are solved as they should be solved, by resorting to an international, tribunal, through dialogue, and by diplomatic channels, which is in fact what President Santos has been repeatedly offering during these past hours and over the last days”, Laura Chinchilla said.

Highlighting the manner in which the Colombian president has handled this situation with Venezuela, she asked: “And what will President Santos do? Slam the table in the same manner? Fling harsh remarks? Say what the people want to hear? Provide more weapons to continue escalating the conflict and fail to think about the six million Colombians who live in Venezuela?”

She pointed out that “when firmness is demanded, when courage is demanded from the leaders, from leaders who govern in democracy, that courage and that firmness is much more valuable, much more complex and difficult to sustain when it is founded on strict adherence to democratic principles and convictions”.

And she stated that “for that reason I congratulate President Santos for his courage, for his firmness and for his conviction, precisely for the way in which he is handling the current conflict in the border with Venezuela”.

Closing ranks

In turn, former Mexican president, Vicente Fox, acknowledged the Colombian president for pursuing the peace process and having the firm purpose to complete it.

He drew attention to the fact that previous governments have tried to successfully conclude peace processes without managing to do so.

In concluding, he said that consequently “we must close ranks, and for that reason I believe we should generate public opinion, we must win the battle for peace in Colombia”.