Venezuela shuts two border crossings with Colombia

Aug 24, 2015 Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro recently ordered the closing of the two borders linking his country to Colombia for 72 hours following a shootout that left three soldiers injured.

According to the government press office, the soldiers were attacked during an anti-smuggling operation in the Venezuelan border town of San Antonio.

“I have ordered a special OLP (military operative used by the government against crime) along the entire border and a set of special decisions that I will start to announce during the course of today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, 72 hours of strict border closing and that way, we will reformulate and we could formulate a superior policy for the border, of stabilization of the border, of regularization of all economic trade, commercial, security, military and with police in coordination with the government of Colombia, with Colombian authorities,” said Maduro

President Maduro has called out to the Columbian officials for a joint task force to tackle the issue .

“I have instructed the Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, to immediately coordinate with the Colombian foreign ministry, a special meeting with the presence of governors, our key ministers and where both governments can very quickly, take on this issue,” he added

The Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin has also confirmed that her country is working with the Venezuelan authorities to end cross-border smuggling.

“We have talked with the Venezuelan foreign minister and we have set an early date for a possible meeting on September 14. We would be gathering, the foreign ministers, to touch many of the sensitive issues with regards to the border and we really want to reiterate to the Venezuelan government that we will work together,” Holguin said.

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