Politics

Maduro opens border with Colombia, shut down over oppositions aid-smuggling attempt

      Three months after violent clashes broke out at the Colombia-Venezuela border, followed by the oppositions attempt to smuggle in aid, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered border crossings to be partially reopened.      

Maduro announced on Friday that the border with Colombia, which has remained closed since late February, will be reopened in western Tachira State on Saturday.

READ MORE: Red Cross denounces unsanctioned use of its emblems to smuggle US aid to Venezuela

“In order to fully ensure our sovereignty, I have ordered the opening of border crossings with Colombia in the state of Tachira beginning on Saturday, June 8,” Maduro tweeted, adding that Venezuela is a “peaceful nation” that “firmly defends its independence.”

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.

— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) 7 июня 2019 г.

In February, the Francisco de Paula Santander Bridge over the Tachira River, which connects Colombia to Venezuela, became the scene of a showdown between opposition forces trying to make way for the aid trucks and the National Guard. Images of an aid truck engulfed in flames on the bridge became the symbol of Caracas crackdown, until around a month later when the mainstream media was forced to admit that the truck was in effect torched by protesters.

Also on rt.com Colombia harbors Venezuelan opposition, opens doors to defectors

Prior to the botched attempt to deliver aid, which Caracas later said included wire and nails that could have been used to erect barricades, tensions were already running high at the crossing. In the run-up to the attempt to smuggle in the cargo, Maduro closed the border, severing diplomatic relations with Colombia and expelling its diplomats from the country.

Calling Colombian President Ivan Duque “a devil in the flesh,” Maduro accused Bogota of meddling in Caracas internal affairs by allowing the US and the opposition to turn the country into a springboard for attacking his government.

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 <a href="https://www.rt.com/news/456530-venezuela-fm-cheap-spectacles-us/" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2019.04/xxs/5cb45697fc7e93526a8b4572.JPG" alt="Washington uses Colombia for cheap spectacles against Caracas – Venezuelan FM" />                                                   </a> 

The decision to reopen a section of the border with Colombia follows Maduros decisions last month to reopen the border with Brazil and the Caribbean island of Aruba, whichRead More – Source
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