La Patilla at the border: Clues on Gustavo Petro’s speech after the reopening

El presidente colombiano, Gustavo Petro, saluda durante la ceremonia para reabrir oficialmente la frontera terrestre con Venezuela, completamente cerrada desde 2019, cerca del Puente Internacional Simón Bolívar, en Cúcuta, Colombia, el 26 de septiembre de 2022. – Venezuela y Colombia reabrieron el lunes su frontera para vehículos de mercancías tras siete años de cierre parcial, incluidos tres años de cierre total debido a una disputa política. El presidente de Colombia, Gustavo Petro, y representantes del gobierno del líder de Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, asistieron a la ceremonia. (Foto por Schneyder MENDOZA / AFP)





After seven years marked by tension and confrontational speeches, Colombia and Venezuela opened their common border to make way for a new relationship. This has generated great expectations on both the Colombian and the Venezuelan side.

Lucho Suárez // Luz Dary Depablos // Correspondent

The protocolary act began on the morning of this September 26th with the playing of both national anthems and the greetings between the delegations.

President Gustavo Petro was present for the Colombian administration, while the Chavista Governor of Táchira State, Freddy Bernal, was the top representative of the Venezuelan regime at the ceremony, because Nicolás Maduro chickened up alleging “security” issues”.

Bernal was accompanied by other red figures such as the person in charge of the Ministry of Transportation, Ramón Velasquez, his peer in Industry, Hipólito Abreu, and the head of Seniat (Tax Office), José David Cabello.

During the act, Gustavo Petro, accompanied by his foreign minister Álvaro Leyva, the Colombian Ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, and his ministers Germán Umaña (Commerce, Industries and Tourism) and Guillermo Reyes (Transport), witnessed the passage of the first trucks on the binational border and they walked on the Simón Bolívar international bridge.

In his speech, the Colombian president described the day as historic for South America: “Today is a historic day for the region, for the country, for South America. For America in general. Globalization is first and foremost a relationship between neighbors.”

“A symbol of unity that should never have been closed. Globalization, first of all, is trade and unity between neighbors.” he added.

Likewise, he pointed out that “anyone who measures the flows of international trade, culture, population, will always find that the greatest amount is always between neighbors, and that was the case before sectarian madness took over hearts and brains.”

The Keys

El presidente de Colombia, Gustavo Petro (izquierda), y el ministro de Transporte de Venezuela, Ramón Velásquez (centro), se dan la mano junto al gobernador del estado de Táchira, Freddy Bernal (derecha), durante una ceremonia para reabrir oficialmente la frontera terrestre entre Venezuela y Colombia, cerrada desde 2019, en el Puente Internacional Simón Bolívar que conecta San Antonio del Táchira en Venezuela y Cúcuta en Colombia, el 26 de septiembre de 2022.- Venezuela y Colombia restablecieron lazos formales el 29 de agosto, reabriendo su frontera terrestre compartida y reanudando los vuelos comerciales. (Foto por Jhonny Parra / AFP)

Petro Admitted That Venezuela Is Experiencing A Humanitarian Crisis.

“The fact that Cúcuta has become one of the poorest cities in Colombia has to do with a humanitarian disaster on the other side, and with another humanitarian disaster on this side,” he said.

The head of state made it clear that the “Tienditas” bridge would be reopened in the coming weeks.

“Let this cement bridge be the beginning, hopefully with the “Tienditas” bridge that will be inaugurated in a few weeks, much larger, but not only a cement bridge, but also the way through which the progress of these two regions is built, Táchira and Norte de Santander.”

He also emphasized that work will be done quickly to speed up the procedures for homologation of titles of Venezuelan migrants who live in Colombia.

“Hopefully the migration, which came here en masse from Venezuela, and that in the past, was from Colombia there, can be calm today. For the people who decide to live in Colombia, respect for all their rights, go from a simple card, to a real experience of full rights as Venezuelan citizens welcomed in Colombia. I have requested the Ministry of Education that the procedures for homologating diplomas be completely streamlined,” he said.

The president asked that the same be done in Venezuela, because “the first thing we have to achieve is that a Venezuelan who has a degree, a Venezuelan with the proper education, can work in Colombia, and the same thing for a Colombian in Venezuela.”

Video by Luz Dary Depablos – correspondent