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News > Colombia

Venezuela Urges Colombia to Cooperate Over Coronavirus Outbreak

  • Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez during a press conference in Caracas

    Venezuela Vice President Delcy Rodriguez during a press conference in Caracas | Photo: teleSUR

Published 15 March 2020

The Vice Pesident of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, asked the President of Colombia, Iván Duque, to stop the folly for the well-being of both peoples.

Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodríguez warned that one of the eight Venezuelans who tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday entered from Colombia, so she reiterated the call to the President of the neighboring country, Iván Duque, to coordinate joint actions that prevent the spread of this pandemic.


Colombia: Duque Closes Border With Venezuela, Thousands at Risk

"We want to alert the brother people of Norte de Santander that one of the eight Venezuelans who tested positive for the coronavirus today came from Cúcuta," she said. 

"Coordination between the health authorities of Colombia and Venezuela is urgently needed for the well-being of both peoples. The folly must stop," Rodríguez wrote on her official Twitter account.

She added that "based on this case, our experts warn of exponential growth in the city of Cúcuta with serious risks to the population. Mr. Iván Duque seriously neglects the well-being and health of the people, while threatening the population Venezuelan border!"

On Saturday, the Colombian government ordered the unilateral closure of the border with Venezuela, a measure that was rejected by the Vice President, noting that only the actions of irregular groups will be favored and will prevent the execution of plans between both nations to stop the Covid-19.

Rodríguez reported the day before that the government asked the United Nations to intercede with Colombia, which unilaterally closed the border, which favors the action of irregular groups and prevents the application of joint measures against the coronavirus.

Rodríguez stressed that at the moment the union of the world is important, as well as respect for international law, and in that sense she specified that they requested the offices of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres for the "inexplicable and grotesque decision" of the President. Duque.

For his part, the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, called on the Colombian authorities with the aim of reestablishing direct communication between governments and coordinating joint measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"We share one of the most lively borders on the continent, there are 2,219 kilometers of border and we have a responsibility to both peoples," he said in an interview with W Radio Colombia. 

"Beyond any ideological, political, conjunctural or structural difference that exists, it is a pandemic already declared by the World Health Organization and must be addressed," he said.

He reported that the Bolivarian Government has tried to establish contact with the Colombian Health and Defense Ministers, Fernando Ruiz and Carlos Holmes Trujillo, respectively, but it has been difficult.

"We want to avoid a unilateral decision, so we want to communicate, see what the reality is on the other side of Táchira and make joint preventive decisions," he said.

Arreaza affirmed that the risk is shared and in the case of Venezuela the Covid-19 screening tests are guaranteed free of charge, thanks to the collaboration that exists with China.

“There is a work team headed by the Executive Vice President, Delcy Rodríguez, who is following up on the detected cases. Obviously, due to sanctions everything is complicated, it is more expensive, but we have made an effort and we are prepared to face the pandemic," he confirmed.

This week the Bolivarian Government has made insistent calls to the Colombian authorities to join forces in the face of the pandemic, without positive results.

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