Sunday, October 17, 2021

Venezuela and Colombia to reopen borders

Both Venezuela and Colombia have given positive indications that land borders could reopen between the neighbors

QCOLOMBIA – Venezuela is to reopen its border with Colombia, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in a state television address on Monday, October 4, 2021.

Venezuela and Colombia appear to be willing to reopen border areas today, October 5, 2021

Rodriguez said in the speech that border trade would resume on Tuesday, today, October 5.

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At the same time, Colombia’s President Ivan Duque said in a statement his country was willing to begin “an orderly process” in order to open up.

News agency AFP reported seeing the removal of two containers that had been used as a barricade between the Venezuelan town of San Anton de Tachira and Cucuta in Colombia.

Why was the border closed?

The Maduro government initially closed the border in February 2019 as the Venezuelan opposition, backed by both Colombia and the United States, attempted to bring humanitarian aid into the country via its land border.

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But President Nicolas Maduro rejected the aid, fearing it was the beginning of an invasion by the United States. With the borders shut, and shops running short of essentials, Venezuelans were forced to resort to desperate measures simply to survive.

Colombia’s President Duque said on Monday that Maduro had to decided to reopen Venezuela’s border with Colombia after “democratic resistance.”

In this 2018 photo, Venezuelans wait outside the Federal Police office in the Brazilian border city of Pacaraima. The office is responsible for receiving Venezuelans seeking asylum or special permits to stay in Brazil. UNHCR/Reynesson Damasceno

Waves of people left Venezuela, and have sought sanctuary in neighboring states.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says more than 5 million Venezuelans have fled the country because of political insecurity, violence, lack of food and medicine and basic services, the vast majority to countries within Latin America and the Caribbean, which has become one of the largest displacement crisis in the world.

 

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