The border was closed to the passage of vehicles in August 2015 by order of the Venezuelan Government and the movement of people was suspended after the breakdown of relations.
Venezuela will open its border with Colombia on Tuesday 5 October 2021 for commercial transit in the state of Táchira, which houses the main crossing with the Andean country, closed since 2015, the executive vice president of the Caribbean country, Delcy Rodríguez, reported on Monday.
"President Nicolás Maduro has asked us to announce to the population of the state of Táchira, on the border with Colombia, that, starting tomorrow, we will be opening trade between our countries," Rodríguez said in a statement broadcast by the state channel Venezolana de Television (VTV).
The border was closed to the passage of vehicles in August 2015 by order of the Venezuelan Government and the movement of people was suspended after the rupture of relations decided by Maduro on February 23, 2019, when the opposition leader Juan Guaidó tried to enter from Cúcuta a humanitarian aid caravan.
Rodríguez stressed that the common border is "extensive" and, in it, the countries maintain a "shared responsibility" and "differentiated from what the protection" of that region entails.
In this sense, he said that on the Colombian side "there are paramilitary gangs, drug traffickers and criminals."
The presence of these groups was the reason given in 2015 by the Venezuelan authorities to close the passage with Colombia, whose president at the time was Juan Manuel Santos.
The Venezuelan executive vice president asked her fellow citizens to "be alert" to the possible arrival of Colombian criminal gangs.
"But despite what the planned violence against our homeland has meant, President Nicolás Maduro, always thinking of our people, thinking of brotherhood and cooperation (...) has made the decision to open the binational commercial path", stressed.
He recalled that, "historically, the commercial exchange between Colombia and Venezuela has even exceeded 7,000 million dollars", in a period that he did not specify, for which he considered that the opening "is a very direct message to the productive forces" of both. countries and, especially, "binational commercial actors", to whom he asked "a healthy exchange" and "biosecurity".
Regarding the decision taken in 2019, after the rupture of relations with Colombia, Rodríguez considered that the border had been closed "since February 2019, because the US government of Donald Trump
," in conjunction "with those of the so-called Lima Group," they made the terrible "decision to" undermine the territorial integrity of Venezuela.
Shortly after her announcement, the vice president contacted Freddy Bernal, protector of the state of Táchira, a figure parallel to that of the governor and who is directly appointed by the president in those regions where the opposition won the elections.
Bernal made public the decision to lift the containers that blocked the passage of the binational bridges, a task that, according to Efe, began early today.