“This decision protects the interests and welfare of both peoples since it fosters an active, regular, and orderly exchange that helps to fight the economic recession prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic," Rampolla tweeted.
The Bolivarian government closed the land border with Colombia in 2015 to prevent the entry of paramilitary gangs dedicated to drug trafficking and arm smuggling activities. Although the transit of people was reestablished in 2016, it was again suspended in 2019 after opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido attempted to enter an alleged U.S. "humanitarian aid" from Colombia.
"We will put aside political differences to reactivate both nations' trade, which exceeded US$7 billion in 2008,” Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez stated.
Executive Vice President Delcy Rodríguez highlighted that Venezuela "has been the target of more than 430 unilateral coercive measures that have blocked our foreign trade." Vía @VTVcanal8pic.twitter.com/4N0C5AypIN
Border crossing for non-commercial or official purposes will be restricted until President Nicolas Maduro’s administration can coordinate actions with the Colombian authorities to prevent the entry of criminal gangs. However, Maduro recalled that students and people authorized by humanitarian considerations are already authorized to cross the border.
“At the border points, health protocols will be complied to prevent COVID-19 contagions,” Rodriguez stated, stressing that about 15,000 people will be able to cross the international bridge Simon Bolivar, which is the main border crossing with Colombia.
Colombia’s President Ivan Duque welcomed this decisión, adding that his administration is willing to begin "an orderly and without haste process" to re-establish the 2019-suspended consular services with Venezuela.