BORDER BETWEEN VENEZUELA AND COLOMBIA SET TO REOPEN





A year after the closing of the frontier between Venezuela and Colombia, leaders of said countries announced that they are set to partially reopen the border to pedestrian crossing.Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Thursday that he and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro agreed to open five pedestrian crossings for 15 hours a day (from 5 AM to 8 PM) from Saturday. Santos stated that they are going to open the border gradually, and each step during the process will be taken under proper consideration. The leaders also said that a joint initiative is going to be set up to ease the concerns regarding security and to fight organized crimes such as petrol smuggling.
The possibility of setting up Venezuelan petrol stations on the Colombian side and the opening of the border for cargo vehicles are going to be discussed in coming days as well.Venezuela decided to close its 2,200km western border with Colombia on August 19 last year after an attack on a Venezuelan army patrol in which three people were wounded. Maduro blamed the right-wing paramilitaries from Colombia at the time.
According to the reports of the UN, Venezuela deported hundreds of Colombians after the border was closed and thousands more fled back to Colombia for fear of sharing the same fate.
Venezuela is facing severe shortages in an economic crisis steemed by the global crash in the price of oil, its main export. Maduro’s opponents are trying to remove him from the office, basing their opposition on the claim that the president mishandled the state-led economy.
In light of this, it is possible to state that Venezuela needs its economic and trade relations with Colombia to improve, which is bound to happen according to the statements of both leaders. Also, with international mistrust becoming a trend, seeing countries form bilateral relations despite the unfortunate events they’ve witnessed in recent times gives a little amount of hope with regards to the future of the globe.
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