This January 1, 2023, the Tienditas bridge was reopened, on the border that connects the state Tachira (Venezuela) with the department of North of Santander (Colombia), after seven years of closure.
(See: Colombia and Venezuela reopen the ‘tienditas’ bridge this January 1).
The official opening ceremony included the ribbon cutting by the Ministers of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, German Umana Mendoza and Transportation, Guillermo Reyes González, on the Colombian side, and the governor of the state of Táchira, Freddy Bernal, on behalf of the Venezuelan Governmentamong other high authorities who participated in the event.
In addition, this protocol act included the blessing by Monsignor Mario Moronta and was attended by regional authorities such as the governor of Norte de Santander, Silvano Serrano; the mayor of Cúcuta, Jairo Yáñez; and the mayor of Villa del Rosario, Carlos Socha.
(See: Venezuelan Bolívar Wobbles Again: What Makes It So Unstable?).
The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Germán Umaña Mendoza, said that this infrastructure will allow the full restoration of political, social, diplomatic and commercial relations between Colombia and Venezuelaone of the main purposes of President Gustavo Petro.
“A dream of integration of our liberators is coming true. Only the constancy of those of us who have believed in integration has made this possible. But it is not just an integration to do business. It is an integration to unite our societies in a single country and that single country in a single nationality. And the example of this border is that binational citizenship never let us lose hope that we could achieve that integration.” said Minister Umaña Mendoza.
“We started the path of economic complementation, services, tourism. And today we begin the path of closing the social gaps that exist between the centers of our countries and the borders, because the borders are the center, the reason for integration, but they are also the most abandoned by our countries and our citizens. The social aspect is the true integration that will make it impossible to close the borders again, because as citizens we will never allow it again,” he added..
(See: What comes after the end of the ‘interim government’ of Guaidó in Venezuela).
For his part, the transport ministerGuillermo Reyes González, affirmed that this infrastructure marks the history of both countries and their brotherhood is reopened.
“This has been achieved through intense coordination work in the transport, customs, immigration and other important sectors such as security. In the same way, the departmental and local perspective has been quickly coordinated so that the new phases of this opening process have a positive impact on our common border region of Norte de Santander and Táchira.”, added Minister Reyes.
The governor from the state of TáchiraFreddy Bernal, described the opening of the little shops bridge as a historic act for its sense of brotherhood, confraternity, union and hope, and noted that this is reaffirmed “the political will of the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, who joins that of the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, in a single task: the Colombian-Venezuelan integration”.
(See: Aerolínea Estelar does not have permission to fly from Venezuela to Colombia).
Since the Colombian Foreign Ministry work is underway to reopen “As soon as possible, the consulates of San Cristóbal, Maracaibo, San Antonio and continue with the other consulates that are located on our border line to San Fernando de Atabapo. The national government has already appointed the consul general of Colombia in Venezuela, a diplomat who has the rank of ambassador and will take office before the end of this month, to continue with all the necessary activities to maintain harmonious binational relations.”the official explained.
It is expected that with the reactivation of Tienditas, the permanent passage of international cargo and passenger transport will be allowed in one of the busiest borders of the continent