Venezuela to fully open border with Colombia next year, says Maduro
The measure comes after Colombia and Venezuela restored diplomatic and commercial ties in September
December 13, 2022 6:42am
Updated: December 13, 2022 8:09am
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday announced that he plans to fully open the South American country’s border with Colombia beginning on January 1, reported The Associated Press.
“I am going to announce that we will be completely opening the border, for all of western Venezuela with Colombia, for the passage of vehicles, motorcycles, trucks” as of Jan. 1. Maduro said on state television.
“We are preparing everything to comply with what we announced, to fulfill what was promised to President Gustavo Petro,” he added.
The measure comes after Colombia and Venezuela restored diplomatic and commercial ties in September after relations between the two countries were broken off in 2019.
Maduro said that the relationship between the two countries has significantly improved since Colombia elected its first leftist president, Gustavo Petro.
Petro, on his side, has recognized Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela, despite the claim from several other countries that the most recent elections in Venezuela were a sham.
Petro’s predecessor, President Ivan Duque, also joined the other countries and withdrew Colombia’s recognition of Maduro as Venezuela’s legitimate president. As a result, Maduro expelled all Colombian diplomats from Venezuela in February 2019, claiming that Duque sought to topple his government.
On August 30, Maduro welcomed Colombia’s new ambassador to Venezuela, the first one since 2019, signaling that the two countries were one step closer to re-establishing diplomatic relations.
The Colombian president also promoted the reopening of the border that divides the two countries on September 26, when the crossing of commercial trucks from both sides of the border was allowed.