Venezuelans and Colombians prepare for a border reopening
Only hours after the inauguration of President Gustavo Petro, expectations of opening the border crossing between Colombia and Venezuela remain high.
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For almost seven years, the border between Colombia and Venezuela has been a hotbed of controversy. Now, with President Gustavo Petro taking the helm in the former, things are looking to change.
In August 2015, it was closed to vehicles by order of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro, who had previously expelled thousands of Colombians from the area. Subsequently, on Feb. 23, 2019, Maduro broke diplomatic relations with Colombia due to former President Iván Duque recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as interim president.
The exact date for the opening of both borders is still unknown, but there have already been diplomatic conversations to confirm it.
According to a piece published by the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, it is estimated that trade between both countries will generate more than$800 million between August and December of this year, which is an increase of 317% compared to the same period in 2021, according to figures published by the Chamber of Venezuelan-Colombian Economic Integration (Cavecol).
Currently, the citizens living in the border area are waiting in the hope that the details to reestablish the vehicular and commercial passage can be finalized. The governor of Norte de Santander, Silvano Serrano, as well as the mayor of Cúcuta, Jairo Yánez, confirmed to the Colombian media that they still have no indications to open the border or how the reopening process will be in the next few days.
However, it is believed that a series of steps such as the appointment of ambassadors in both countries, the supervision of the bridge structures and the exchange rates, must be fulfilled for this act to begin.