Maduro: Venezuela-Colombia border to completely reopen Jan. 1
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declares his desire to fully open the border crossings with Colombia.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that his nation would fully reopen its land border with Colombia on January 1, completing a negotiating process that began in September with the two South American neighbors restoring diplomatic ties.
"I can announce that we will be completely opening the entire western border of Venezuela with Colombia for the passage of vehicles," Maduro said in a statement broadcast on the state media.
"We are preparing everything to comply with what we announced, to fulfill the pledges made with (Colombian) President Gustavo Petro to open it on January 1," he added.
Under Colombia's conservative president, Ivan Duque, the South American neighbors severed diplomatic ties in 2019.
The border was partially closed seven years ago and completely blocked three years ago.
However, since Petro took over in August, Colombia's first left-wing president has worked to repair ties with Venezuela's populist leftist government.
It is worth noting that the Simon Bolivar Bridge, which links the Colombian city of Cucuta with the Venezuelan city of San Antonio del Tachira, is currently open from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm for pedestrians and from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for freight vehicles.
It is forecasted that next Thursday a test plan will be launched on the "Tienditas" bridge, a land route that has not been inaugurated since its construction in 2017.
Years of unilateral US sanctions on Venezuela have resulted in widespread poverty and the emigration of millions of people, many of whom have settled in Colombia.