This Thursday, August 18, the second day of the “Border Agreement” meeting was held, an event attended by Venezuelan and Colombian authorities, and businesspeople who seek to reach agreements for the commercial reopening between Venezuela and Colombia.
The Border Agreement meeting was held at the Casino Internacional hotel in Cúcuta, Colombia, where recently appointed ambassadors Félix Plasencia of Venezuela and Armando Benedetti of Colombia were joined by more than 200 businesspeople from both countries.
The meeting was organized by the Colombian-Venezuelan Chamber, the Chamber of Venezuelan-Colombian Economic Integration (CAVECOL), the Interunion Committee of Norte de Santander, and Fedecamaras Táchira.
During the event, the Colombian ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, proposed digitizing the border crossing, in order to keep track of identities, improve security control, and ease the free transit of people and goods.
Llegamos a Cúcuta a seguir fortaleciendo la integración fronteriza entre Colombia y Venezuela. Hoy, desde el encuentro gremial binacional con el que buscamos recuperar la economía de ambas naciones. pic.twitter.com/57vABznzsS
— Armando Benedetti (@AABenedetti) August 18, 2022
RELATED CONTENT: Venezuela and Colombia Appoint Ambassadors (Bilateral Relations)
The proposed system would utilize a digital card with a fingerprint record. Benedetti suggested to Colombian Foreign Minister Álvaro Leyva that the border could be opened without restrictions, but using this digital tool at the border crossing points.
Benedetti added that a bill should be drafted in Colombia that allows national resources to be invested in education, health, and infrastructure on the border. On the other hand, he mentioned the Monómeros case, expressing his opinion that the company should be returned to who it really belongs to, referring, of course, to the Venezuelan people and the legitimate government of Nicolás Maduro.
“I am talking about a very important issue for Venezuela, which is the issue of Monómeros, for which I have taken responsibility,” said Benedetti. “Monómeros’ executive board change has to be made … to return Monómeros to those whom it really belongs.”
RELATED CONTENT: Bogotá Gives Green Light to Plasencia as New Venezuelan Ambassador
Along the same lines, Benedetti stated that he had held meetings “with people from OFAC” to prevent the Venezuelan company from being included in the Clinton List, because if that happened, Colombia would be seriously affected:
“To the people from OFAC, I told them yesterday, while I was at the United States embassy, to be very careful with the decision that was going to be made with Monómeros, because if it is a Venezuelan company and it is in Colombia, the affected party would be Colombia—food security, the shortage of urea, fertilizers—and that they would seriously harm Colombia if they ever thought of putting us [Monómeros] on the Clinton List.”
The former senator did not refrain from expressing criticism against the executive board that since 2019 has controlled what was once Venezuela’s second largest asset abroad. Benedetti accused the board of creating a business scheme that dispensed with Venezuelan raw material for the manufacture of fertilizers, in order to benefit a US company that sold them the manufactured product.
“These people prevented the raw material from reaching Colombia and, therefore, a company from the United States called Nitron came in, and through Nitrofert it sold ready-made fertilizer to Monómeros, in order to then appropriate the Colombian market,” said Benedetti.
“The binational opening is more than a border opening”
The president of Fedecamaras Táchira, Carlos Fernández, highlighted during the meeting that the binational historic meeting is more than a border opening—it also constitutes a cultural, scientific, and commercial exchange between both countries.
He noted that the participants’ hope that long-term exchange projects would come out of the border agreement, uniting Venezuelan and Colombian entities as partners and allies. In addition, he called on participants to discuss issues pertinent to the quality of life in both countries, namely energy, transportation, and security.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)