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Reopening of the last border post still closed between Venezuela and Colombia


Venezuela and Colombia completed the reopening of their common border on Sunday January 1 by restoring the last crossing that was...

Venezuela and Colombia completed the reopening of their common border on Sunday (January 1st) by restoring the last crossing that was still closed, after restoring diplomatic relations last year that were severed in 2019 due to political differences.

The opening of the international bridge linking the cities of Ureña (Venezuela) and Cucuta (Colombia), is symbolic: this passage, built in 2016, had never been inaugurated.

It was blocked by gigantic metal containers installed by the Venezuelan military in 2019. Caracas intended to prevent the arrival of food and medicine sent by the United States in support of opposition leader Juan Guaidó.

The latter was then recognized by Colombia as "

president in charge

" of Venezuela, for having questioned the re-election which he considered fraudulent of the head of the socialist state Nicolás Maduro.

Containers removed

The recognition of Juan Guaidó by the right-wing former Colombian president Iván Duque had led to the breakdown of relations and the total closure of border posts.

Read alsoA relative of Nicolas Maduro extradited to the United States

This Sunday, the containers had disappeared.

The authorities of the two countries, amidst a crowd waving yellow, blue and red balloons - the colors of their national flags - inaugurated the international bridge.

This was named Atanasio Girardot Bridge, after a Colombian revolutionary who was the comrade in arms of Simon Bolivar, father of the independence of Colombia and Venezuela in the 19th century.

Venezuela and Colombia have restored relations after leftist President Gustavo Petro came to power in Colombia, who pledged to normalize relations with Caracas.

On September 26, trucks were allowed to cross the border after seven years of partial closure and three years of total closure for vehicles (it was only open to pedestrians).

Venezuela is also one of the guarantors of negotiations between the Colombian government and the ELN guerrillas, which seeks to emulate the peace agreement signed in 2016 with the FARC.

Ceasefire with rebels

Gustavo Petro announced on Saturday a ceasefire agreement with these rebels from January 1 to June 30, 2023, "

extendable depending on the progress

" of the talks.

By reopening their 2,200 km border, Venezuela and Colombia hope to revive their trade which reached 7.2 billion dollars in 2008, but barely 400 million dollars in 2021.

Read alsoVenezuela “totally ready” to reconnect with the United States, says Nicolás Maduro

The opening of other crossing points to the Venezuelan states of Zulia, Apure and Amazonas was also made official this Sunday.

May this opening be the path to a long reunion of brotherhood, growth and prosperity for both nations

,” celebrated the governor of the Venezuelan state of Tachira, Freddy Bernal, during the ceremony on the Atanasio Girardot bridge. .

We unite today in the historical, cultural and social brotherhood that has always identified us

,” said his counterpart from the Colombian department of Norte de Santander, Silvano Serrano.

With relations restored, flights have also resumed, although many airlines are still awaiting clearance to operate.

Gustavo Petro, Colombia's first left-wing president, traveled to Caracas on November 1 for his first one-on-one meeting with Nicolás Maduro since relations resumed.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2023-01-02

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