(Havana) The third round of peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN guerrillas, which was to be held in Havana at the end of April, has been postponed to May 2, the Cuban Foreign Minister announced on Tuesday.
This new cycle was initially scheduled to begin on April 26 on the Caribbean island, after a first phase in Venezuela in November and then a second in Mexico in March.
These talks aim to end nearly six decades of armed conflict in Colombia, including laying the foundations for a ceasefire.
“We will host from May 2, with the traditional will and impartiality of Cuba as guarantor and alternative venue, the celebration in Havana of the third cycle of the Platform for Peace Dialogue between the Colombian government and the ELN. “, announced the Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez on Twitter.
The Colombian government delegation “reaffirms its desire to move the process forward,” the government’s High Commissioner for Peace reacted on Twitter, saying it appreciated Cuba’s support.
Although the ELN has been in peace talks with the Colombian government since November, clashes between the rebels and the Colombian security forces continue in the Guevara guerrilla strongholds.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro recently announced that the military forces of Colombia and Venezuela, unlike in the past, are now “allied” against the ELN. The guerrillas, which next year will celebrate 60 years of armed insurrection, operate on both sides of the border.
After years of intense tension between Colombia and Venezuela, President Petro, elected in the summer of 2022 as the first left-wing president in the history of Colombia, has renewed relations with Caracas.
His predecessor, conservative Ivan Duque (2018-2022), severed diplomatic ties in 2019 to push for the ousting of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power and in support of opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
He also constantly denounced Venezuela’s support for the ELN and other guerrillas, such as the FARC dissidents who rejected the peace agreement signed in 2016 with this Marxist guerrilla. Havana had hosted the negotiations that led to this agreement.