Venezuelan-Colombian border reopened to vehicles carrying goods
The first truck has crossed the border from Venezuela to Colombia via the Simon Bolivar bridge in San Antonio del Tachira.
Venezuela and Colombia reopened their border to vehicles transporting goods on Monday, after seven years of partial closure, including three years when it was completely closed due to a political dispute.
The ceremony was attended by Colombian President Gustavo Petro and representatives from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government.
Just after midday, the first truck crossed the border from Venezuela to Colombia via the Simon Bolivar bridge in San Antonio del Tachira.
"We are resuming relations and taking firm steps to advance in the total and absolute opening of the border between brother peoples," Maduro said on Twitter.
"It's a historic and transcendental day!"
What do you need to know?
Under Colombia's conservative president, Ivan Duque, the South American neighbors severed diplomatic ties in 2019.
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 very, very important for us to progress on the fundamental rights of the people. Families have been separated, there was a break in our relationships of respect and trust," Colombian lawmaker Jairo Cristo said during the ceremony.
This reopening is the first step toward the complete restoration of the two countries' commercial relations, which were worth approximately $7.2 billion in 2008.
Border crossings for goods vehicles have been restricted since 2015 but were completely blocked in 2019.
Years of US sanctions on Venezuela have resulted in widespread poverty and the emigration of millions of people, many of whom have settled in Colombia.