Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro orders reopening of border with Colombia closed after USAID tried to illegally enter with 'humanitarian' supplies.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the government is opening several bridges along its border with Colombia. The Simon Bolivar, Union and Santander bridges in Venezuela had been ordered closed to traffic since Feb. 22 when the Colombian government tried to allow ‘humanitarian aid’ from the United States to illegally enter the country from its border city of Cucuta.
"In full exercise of our sovereignty, I have ordered the opening of the border crossings with Colombia in Tachira State, starting Saturday #8Jun. We are a people of peace who firmly defend our independence and self-determination," tweeted Marudo Friday to announce the reopening.
The Simon Bolivar, Union and Santander bridges, all located in Tachira State in Venezuela were closed to traffic Feb. 22 of this year when Colombia, along with allied countries, U.S., Brazil and Chile, tried to force the illegal entry of USAID supplies into Venezuela.
En ejercicio pleno de nuestra soberanía, he ordenado la apertura de los pasos fronterizos con Colombia en el Estado Táchira, a partir de este sábado #8Jun. Somos un pueblo de paz que defiende firmemente nuestra independencia y autodeterminación.
In full exercise of our sovereignty, I have ordered the opening of the border crossings with Colombia in Tachira State, starting Saturday #8Jun. We are a people of peace who firmly defend our independence and self-determination
At the time, the Venezuelan government said the Colombia’s President Ivan Duque was putting its national security and sovereignty at risk for facilitating what became a failed attempt by USAID to enter Venezuela with supplies, but without authorization.
"Demanding respect for elementary rules of international law, we call on Ivan Duque to cease his infamous actions and stop offering Colombian territory to attempt, following orders of Donald Trump, to go against Venezuelans’ right to live in peace and sovereignty" tweeted Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in February.
The arrival of several trucks of ‘humanitarian aid’ at the Colombian border with Venezuela in February have been part of a long line of U.S. and right-wing Latin American government attempts to destabilize and overthrow the Maduro administration. A long list of economic sanctions as well as a failed coup attempt April 30 by U.S.-backed, self-declared interim president Juan Guaido are some of the other illegal measures being taken by the President Donald Trump administration to remove socialist Maduro from office.
The trucks were quickly burned by masked opposition members who threw molotov cocktails at people and the trucks. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tried to blame the burning on Maduro supporters, but it was later verified by footage from various media outlets it was opposition supporters.
“They tried a false flag operation, that supposedly the people of Venezuela had burned a truck carrying rotten food — no, no, no — it was they themselves, it was the criminals of Ivan Duque,” President Maduro said.
Shortly after the bridges were closed back in February, the Venezuelan government reopened the Cucuta border to foot traffic. A land border with Brazil along with maritime borders between Venezuela and Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao were also shut down do to security threats, but were reopened in May.
Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said Venezuela would maintain its military presence on the Colombian border.