Venezuela, Colombia reopen border after years of closure

Venezuela, Colombia reopen border after years of closure

The Venezuela-Colombia border reopened on Tuesday after years of closure. 

The main border crossing between the countries was opened after Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez announced the decision on Monday, EFE reported

"Thinking of our people, in the brotherhood and cooperation between the people of Colombia and Venezuela, [Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] has taken the decision to open the crossing for commerce," Rodriguez said Monday during a television address, Reuters reported

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The containers blocking Simón Bolívar International Bridge were removed and citizens of both countries were able to cross.

“We believe, and we’re convinced, that the pedestrian opening will generate an immediate resumption and this will lead to the creation of jobs, which is what this city needs so much,” the executive director of the Cucuta Chamber of Commerce, Carlos Luna, told the Spanish news wire. 

The border has been closed and reopened multiple times throughout the years but has stayed closed since 2019 with political tensions high between Venezuela and Colombia.  

Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez said before the opening it would be an “orderly process” and that Venezuela is only reopening the border due to “democratic resistance,” according to Reuters.

Colombia reopened its side of the border in June after closing it during the pandemic. 

Even though the border has been closed for a long time, people have been illegally going between the countries for years.