Colombia, Venezuela border to reopen to cargo traffic
The presidents of Colombia and Venezuela have announced that the years-long closure of their countries’ shared border to cargo transport will end Sept. 26. Air service between their capitals will also resume.
The announcement comes a month after Gustavo Petro was sworn in as Colombia’s first leftist president, beginning a thaw in relations between his country and the government of Nicolas Maduro. The presidents tweeted the announcement.
“We confirm the government’s commitment to restore brotherly relations,” Petro said.
The border crossing bridges are currently open to pedestrian traffic. Limited cargo transport is allowed only at one bridge in the northern portion of the countries’ shared 2,200-km border.
Maduro tweeted that Bogota and the Venezuelan cities of Caracas, the capital, and Valencia will be connected again via air traffic.
“The exchange and cooperation between our peoples are starting off on the right foot,” he tweeted.
Petro, who took office Aug. 7, abandoned his conservative predecessor’s opposition to Maduro and quickly moved to re-establish relations with his government. Both countries have now accepted each other’s ambassadors.
Maduro in 2015 ordered the closure of legal crossing points after an incident during anti-smuggling operations at a border community. Foot traffic eventually resumed, and some cargo continued to move through the northern most bridge.