Colombia, Venezuela restore full diplomatic ties
Published: Aug 29, 2022 08:33 PM
Venezuela and Colombia restored full diplomatic relations on Sunday after a three-year break, as a new leftist ­government in Bogota takes shape.

A new Colombian ambassador, Armando Benedetti, arrived in Caracas and said on Twitter, "Relations with Venezuela should never have been severed."

Colombia's new president, Gustavo Petro, and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro announced on August 11 that they planned to restore diplomatic relations that were severed in 2019.

That rupture was the culmination of years of tension between leftist Venezuela and Colombia under successive conservative presidents, starting with Alvaro Uribe.

Embassies and consulates in both countries were closed, and flights between the neighbors grounded.

Even the 2,000-kilometer land border between the two countries was closed between 2019 and October 2021, when it was opened to pedestrians only.

In addition to exchanging ambassadors, the normalization process will include the full reopening of the border, which has remained largely closed to vehicles.

Benedetti said more than 8 million Colombians make a living from trade with Venezuela, which is why one of the objectives is to re-establish trade relations between the two countries. 

A similar expectation exists on the Venezuelan side, where industrialists want to normalize the trade that reached $7.2 billion in 2008 but collapsed with the border closure.