CARACAS ( Associated Press) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Monday his decision to fully open border crossings with Colombia by January, marking the first time since the resumption of diplomatic and commercial ties between the two South American countries in 2019. A measure repeatedly postponed. ,
“I’m going to announce that we will completely open the border with Colombia from the whole of western Venezuela to the movement of vehicles, motorcycles, trucks from January 1”. Maduro said in a government act broadcast by state-owned Venezolana de Televisión.
Highlighting the “progress” made in bilateral relations since his Colombian counterpart came to power in August, the Venezuelan president said, “We will do everything we can to fulfill the promises made to President Gustavo Petro, what we announced.” preparing.”
Maduro has repeatedly stated that the atmosphere now with Petro is conducive to building a new phase of cooperation and closer ties with Colombia. Venezuela and Colombia resumed diplomatic relations in September following Petro’s election as president.
Petro, the first leftist president in Colombia’s history, recognized Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Ivan Duque, now former President of Colombia (2018–2022), along with dozens of other countries, sidelined Maduro, saying he was re-elected in 2018 in fraudulent elections.
Petro promoted the reopening of the border on 26 September for trucks on both sides of the border, as a sign of resumption of commercial relations between the two countries. However, movement of private vehicles and buses remained restricted.
Another measure that was suspended for months was commercial flight traffic. But in the first week of November, the Colombian airline’s first commercial flight in many years arrived in Venezuela.
For now, only the small Colombian state airline Satena and the Venezuelan Terpial and Laser have permission from Venezuelan authorities to operate the route. Maduro did not mention whether this would change in the short term.
Airlines that have requested permission to operate between Bogotá and Caracas include LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline, and Wingo, a low-cost airline owned by Copa Holdings.