On Wednesday, June 2, Venezuela rejected the decision of the Colombian government to unilaterally open the border crossings between the two countries, informed Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza.
The information was made public through a communiqué of the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry, indicating that ”this sort of border ambush shows that the Colombian government continues to engage in political tricks in order to distract public opinion from the notorious acts of human rights violations that for 36 days have shaken Colombian society and the whole world.”
In the statement, Venezuela expresses that borders between nations cannot be opened by unilateral decisions, and reiterates the call to Colombian authorities to advance in the bilateral coordination of security, commercial and health measures, which would eventually lead to the agreed reopening of the border crossings between the countries at a safer time in future.
The statement also points out that special emphasis should be placed on the coordination of health protocols, since COVID-19 pandemic in Colombia has generated severe impacts, while in Venezuela the health crisis has been kept under control.
The text ends by stating that Venezuela reminds the Colombian government of the seriousness with which border issues should be addressed, in adherence to international law and the principle of being good neighbors, and that unilateral actions do not contribute to the well-being of the people living on both sides of the border.
#COMUNICADO | Venezuela rechaza la decisión del gobierno colombiano de abrir unilateralmente los pasos fronterizos entre ambos países, para distraer a la opinión pública de los problemas internos de la hermana nación. Exhortamos nuevamente a concretar la coordinación bilateral. pic.twitter.com/uOZ4vGthnE
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) June 2, 2021
Below is the unofficial translation of the communiqué:
Venezuela rejects Colombia’s unilateral decision to reopen border crossings
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects the untimely decision taken by the Colombian government, announcing the unilateral reopening of the border crossings with Venezuela, through a resolution that circulated on the night of June 1, after having officially announced 24 hours earlier, on May 31, 2021, the decision to maintain the closure of the borders until September.
This kind of border ambush shows that the Colombian government continues to use political tricks in order to distract the attention of public opinion from the notorious acts of continuous human rights violations that have shaken Colombian society and the whole world for 36 days, painful events that have occurred regarding the anti-government protests and the unprecedented repressive response of the Colombian State.
In this sense, considering that borders cannot be opened by a unilateral decision, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela once again calls upon the Colombian authorities to advance in the bilateral coordination of security, commercial and health measures, which could eventually lead to the agreed reopening of the border crossings between the two countries. Special emphasis should be directed towards the coordination of health protocols, since the COVID-19 pandemic in Colombia has generated severe impacts, while in Venezuela it has been kept under control.
The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela reminds the Colombian government of the seriousness with which border issues must be addressed, always in accordance with International Law and the principle of good neighborls, while ratifying that no desperate and unilateral decision is effective, nor does it contribute to the welfare of the Venezuelan and Colombian peoples that live in the border areas of both countries.
Caracas, June 2, 2021
Featured image: The Simón Bolívar International Bridge, the main crossing between Colombia and Venezuela, photographed in March 2020. Schneyder Mendoza / AFP.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune