Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez invited the Colombian adversary, Luis Carlos Villegas to discuss the security on the 2.240 km shared border, which has been closed for almost one year.
In August 2015, Venezuela ordered closure of the border with Colombia after three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian were attacked by Colombian smugglers, which were stealing subsidized foods to be sold for profits in Colombia.
The annual trade by the Colombian crime rings is said to be about $2 billion per year. Maduro began a crackdown on suspected smugglers in the region and declared a state of emergency in several municipalities. More than 2.000 illegal Colombians were deported and about 22.000 Colombians left Venezuela in fear of deportation.
Talks about reopening and securing the border between Venezuela and Colombia stalled in October 2015. Padrino Lopez and Villegas will meet to resume discussions on common border security and the fight against organized crime.
During the meeting in Caracas, Padrino Lopez hopes to coordinate operations near the border to consolidate higher levels of public safety and to combat crime, especially smuggling and extortion, the Venezuelan Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The border between the two Latin American countries if often used by smugglers to purchase heavily subsidized foods in Venezuela to resell in Colombia for large profits.
After the IMF blocked Caracas from trading in dollars and Washington sanctioned Venezuela’s politicians for representing the country, the Colombians helped the West, choking Venezuela into serious chaos as the country’s citizens are starving to death ever since.
UPI / AA Magnum News 2016.