Colombia declares the Venezuelan border will open soon.

Before they reopen, border bridges are being evaluated; according to Bogota, this will help stop "illegal economics and smuggling" between the South American neighbors.

Although it will happen sooner rather than later, Colombia has stated that the full reopening of the Colombia-Venezuela border is subject to legal requirements and the general re-establishment of bilateral relations.

German Umana, Colombia's minister of commerce, stated on Thursday in Cucuta during a gathering of businesspeople from both sides of the border, including the Colombia-Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, that "the border will open shortly, but at the time when we have that coordination."

Umana continued without providing further information, "Our business owners are hoping that this will not be subject to consequences.

The reopening won't immediately result in a significant increase in trade, but it will be essential to re-establishing institutional authority in a region plagued by smuggling and shadow economies, according to Umana.

When the bridges are opened, he said, "illegality, money laundering, and contraband will be replaced."

After achieving $316 million in the first half, roughly equal to what it did for the entire year of 2021, he added that trade between the two nations could reach more than $600 million this year.

Since Gustavo Petro took office as Colombia's new president about two weeks ago, ties between the two nations have improved. Petro has pledged to resume trade across the porous 2,219-kilometer border, which has been largely shut down.

Presidents of Petro and Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, have each chosen ambassadors to their respective nations.

Humanitarian emergency

To the dismay of Venezuela's opposition, a UN envoy stated last year that US and EU-imposed sanctions on the country were escalating a humanitarian crisis and suggested loosening them.

Before they reopened, border bridges were being evaluated, according to Colombia's ministry of transportation.

Beyond the reopening of the border, Freddy Sandoval, head of the automakers' guild in the Venezuelan state of Tachira, stated that the country had the most developed auto-making infrastructure on the continent two decades ago.

We need to get that back, he said.

Early in 2019, ties between the two countries deteriorated as Caracas protested attempts to bring aid trucks from Colombia across the border by members of the Venezuelan opposition who were backed by the US Trump administration.

Before Venezuela's then-president Hugo Chavez halted it in opposition to a military agreement between Washington and Bogota, trade between the two nations totaled $7 billion in 2008.

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