Venezuela, Colombia finalize border reopening

The final section of Venezuela and Colombia’s common border, which had been blocked for years due to a diplomatic issue that has since been resolved under new leadership, was reopened on Sunday.

Vehicles with registration plates from both nations crossed the Atanasio Girardot bridge in the region, which was blocked by containers due to the high level of tension, as passengers waved flags and cars honked.

  Learn about the COVID-19 pandemic from News Hour  

The bridge, also known as Tienditas, was the final one to continue to be inaccessible after the nations’ diplomatic relations were restored last year.

During a ceremony that included a blessing of the crossing by bishops, representatives from both countries inaugurated the pass while carrying balloons in the yellow, blue, and red colors of their respective flags.

Armed organizations fighting for lucrative illegal enterprises like drug trafficking and smuggling have led to insecurity along the 2,200 km (1,350 mph) shared border between the neighbors.

When Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro severed diplomatic connections after Colombia’s then-president Ivan Duque questioned his 2018 reelection, it was partially closed seven years ago and entirely prohibited in 2019.

The victory of Maduro in an election that was largely regarded as being rigged was not recognized by many other nations, including the United States.

The first ever left-wing president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, campaigned for a reopening of the border as soon as he took office last year.

On September 26, border crossings that had only been accessible to pedestrians were opened to goods trucks.

Air connections have subsequently been restored.

The countries hope to reinvigorate trade, which stood at $7.2 billion in 2008, but has collapsed since then.

The bridge connects the cities of Urena in Venezuela and Cucuta in Colombia, and had been blocked by containers placed there by the Venezuelan army.

Years of economic catastrophe in Venezuela have resulted in extreme poverty and the emigration of millions of people, many of whom have settled in Colombia.

One of the guarantors of the peace talks between the government of Colombia and the ELN rebel group is Venezuela. The objective is to arrive at a peace accord similar to the one the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, signed in 2016.

Petro declared a cease-fire with the ELN and other armed organizations on Saturday, lasting from January 1 to June 30.

Follow News Hour

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
No Comments