The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, today challenged his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, to a public and televised debate to discuss the situation of both bordering countries, although he does not believe that his pair will accept the proposal for "fear".
"I could have a debate, what happens is that he is afraid of me, Ivan Duque is afraid of me, I challenge him to a public debate whenever he wants, as he likes Washington or New York a lot in the United States", said the Chavista leader during an event with a group of Colombians in Caracas.
He criticized that the Colombian leader, whom he called "devil with the face of an angel", speaks "more of Venezuela than of Colombia" for what he believes is "as obsessed, as sick."
"If you want a debate on the issues of Colombia and Venezuela, we are going to do it, we meet and we transmit it live and direct, in a chain in Colombia and Venezuela so that everyone can see it (…) I am not afraid of it to that, I challenge it, I challenge Iván Duque to a public debate, "he insisted.
Maduro said that Duque "has the order of the gringos not to talk to the Venezuelan government" so that until now it has not been possible to have "relations of normal dialogue and diplomacy" between Caracas and Bogota, which he considered as "a folly "
"And how do we do it, how do we do it with 2,200 kilometers of border if governments do not speak?" He asked.
He indicated that the dialogue between the two governments will be necessary to establish a new fuel sales mechanism in the border areas, as he recalled, his government plans "in the coming days" to raise Venezuelan gasoline, considered the cheapest in the world, at an international price.
The Venezuelan leader proposed reactivating the gas stations that are located along the border with Colombia "to offer Venezuelan gasoline in foreign currency, in Colombian pesos, at preferential prices" and "to benefit the border population."
"I worry about the situation in Colombia while President Ivan Duque is in New York worried about his business, and his churupitos (money) and his evil", he went on without urging Bogota to appoint a special envoy to attend this and other matters.
He also said that Caracas is ready to "buy all the food production for Colombian producers that are on the border" and said that "already on that has been worked (…) to supply the domestic market" affected by a severe shortage.