Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro announced Wednesday that he has agreed with the Venezuelan government to reopen the border between the two countries.
“I have communicated with the Venezuelan government to open the borders and restore the full exercise of human rights on the border,” Petro reported on his Twitter account.
Shortly after, the Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro confirmed the announcement of the Colombian side.
“I spoke with the elected president of Colombia @petrogustavo, and on behalf of the Venezuelan people, I congratulated him on his victory. We discussed the willingness to restore normality at the borders, various issues about Peace and the prosperous future of both peoples”, Maduro wrote on Twitter.
With this announcement, Petro, to whom his opponents have blamed sympathy with Chavismo and the anti-democratic left of the continent, begins to implement one of his campaign promises, the reestablishment of relations with the neighboring country, which his predecessor Iván Duque had broken. fully since 2019.
As referred CNNthe border was first closed in 2015 after the Venezuelan government, following a confrontation between Venezuelan security forces and civilians, blamed Colombian paramilitary forces for the incident.
In the following years, the situation in that enclave was normalized, until, in 2019, it was closed again in the midst of a diplomatic crisis between Duque and Maduro.
The closure of the border has significantly affected trade between the two countries and the life of the populations living in that border area.
The first left-wing president in the democratic history of Colombia affirmed in the campaign that more than eight million people on both sides of a 2,219-kilometer border will benefit from this reopening, according to a dispatch from Latin Press.
Petro was chosen, last Sunday, as new president of Colombia.
The candidate of the Historical Pact, a 62-year-old economist who was a senator, mayor of Bogotá and belonged to the demobilized M-19 guerrilla, obtained 11.2 million votes (50.44%), beating the eccentric construction businessman Rodolfo Hernández, which reached 10.5 million (47.31%), with 99.99% of the tables counted by the electoral authority, reports Reuters.
The difference of more than 700,000 votes in favor of Petro demonstrates the desire of Colombians to combat deep social inequality, according to analysts.
The Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel congratulated the new president of Colombia and asked him to strengthen his country’s relations with Cuba.
“I express my most fraternal congratulations to Gustavo Petro for his election as President of Colombia in a historic popular victory. We reiterate our willingness to advance in the development of bilateral relations for the well-being of our peoples,” the Cuban leader said on Twitter.
The newly elected president of Colombia has repeatedly expressed his admiration for Fidel Castro and his close emotional ties to the Cuban regime.
If we review some of his tweets from recent years, we will find many allusions and praises to the late Cuban dictator.
For example, on the occasion of Castro’s death in 2016, Petro published a photo of a mass rally in Havana, accompanied by the text “A people who loved Fidel and bid him farewell with dignity.”
Perhaps when his discourse regarding Cuba has slightly varied from that of the island’s regime’s propaganda, it was after the massive anti-government protests on July 11.
Although the new Colombian president did not directly condemn the repression unleashed against the protesters by the Díaz-Canel government, he did call for dialogue and drew a parallel between the Cuban situation and the demonstrations in his country that shook the administration of Uribista Iván Duque. .