NewsWorldGustavo Petro announces that he will reopen the borders...

Gustavo Petro announces that he will reopen the borders with Venezuela

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The conversation between Gustavo Petro and Joe Biden 1:22 (CNN Spanish) — The president-elect of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, announced that once he takes office he will reopen the borders with Venezuela to “restore the full exercise of human rights” in that place.” “I have communicated with the Venezuelan government to open the borders and restore the full exercise of human rights on the border,” Petro wrote on his Twitter account. I have communicated with the Venezuelan government to open the borders and restore the full exercise of human rights on the border — Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) June 22, 2022 In recent years, that border has been partially closed and has been the focus of conflicts and escalations of tensions, which particularly affected to trade between the two countries.In 2008, trade reached about US$7.2 billion, in 2015 it had fallen to around US$1.331 million and in 2020 it was barely US$221 million. This border, through which people and goods have passed for centuries, was closed in 2015 by the Venezuelan government after a confrontation between Venezuelan security forces and civilians, which President Nicolás Maduro attributed to “paramilitarism” in Colombia and for which blamed former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, who denied the accusations. In the following years, the situation gradually normalized, but in 2019, once again, Venezuela closed the border, amid an escalation of tensions between the governments of Maduro and President Iván Duque, in Colombia. The 2020 pandemic only made the situation worse: Colombia closed its borders in March of that year, although it reopened them in June 2021. They mainly closed the Simón Bolívar, Santander and Unión international bridges, between the department of Norte de Santander (Colombia). and the state of Táchira (Venezuela). Although other passes, such as Maicao, in the department of La Guajira (Colombia) and Maracaibo, in Zulia (Venezuela), remained mostly open. According to the Colombo-Venezuelan Chamber, during the last years of partial closure of borders, most of the commercial exchange was processed by the customs of Maicao and Cartagena in Colombia. The port of Barranquilla has played a key role in Colombia’s imports from Venezuela. Germán Padinger contributed to this report.

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