Venezuela has restored full diplomatic ties with Panama, President Nicolas Maduro said, months after he angrily broke off formal relations with the Central American country.
“I send a greeting to the president of Panama. We have re-established diplomatic and political relations with Panama
this very day,” Maduro said on Tuesday in a televised address.
Diplomatic relations were broken on March 5 after Maduro used the anniversary of former President Hugo Chavez’s death to
accuse Panama’s conservative government of joining the United States in an “open conspiracy” against him.
“We are going to deepen economic, diplomatic, trade and energy relations. Applause and a hug to the Panamanian people,” Maduro said.
Panama had said in May that consular relations would be restored soon on Venezuela’s wishes but the socialist Maduro indicated that this extended to full diplomatic cooperation.
Maduro’s government has survived weeks of protest marches from February that resulted in more than 40 deaths and which erupted from anger at insecurity, inflation and shortages of basic goods.
Juan Carlos Varela was sworn in as Panama’s president on Tuesday, pledging to fight corruption and freeze prices of staple foods.