© Reuters. Children play with their skateboards during the reopening of the Coronel Atanasio Girardot binational bridge after the normalization of diplomatic and economic relations between the governments of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro, and Colombian preside


URENA, Venezuela (Reuters) – Private vehicles started crossing between Colombia and Venezuela for the first time in years on Sunday, marking the total opening of the shared border, in addition to cargo and people that have been transiting.

The full opening of the common border follows years of tense relations between the two countries that have eased after Colombian President Gustavo Petro, a leftist, took office in August last year.

German Umana, Colombia’s commerce minister, told reporters at the crossing that the move would be positive for the economies and societies of both countries.

“We will never allow it again,” Umana said in reference to closure of the border.

Late last year, Colombian and Venezuelan authorities authorized the opening of the crossing on the Atanasio Girardot bridge, known as Tienditas, the western Venezuelan border state Tachira state.

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