Venezuela announces reopening of borders with Brazil, Aruba

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CARACAS, May 10 (Xinhua) -- The Venezuelan government on Friday announced the reopening of its borders with Brazil and Aruba, but it will keep the borders shut with Colombia, Bonaire and Curacao.

Venezuela's Economy Vice President Tareck El Aissami said the move would "restore all the economic, political, social and cultural life, and the exchange that takes place on our border," referring the border with Brazil.

He said that President Nicolas Maduro instructed his government team to "initiate work commissions to gradually reestablish communications and trade with Aruba," an island located off Venezuela's Caribbean coast.

El Aissami specified that it is the sole authority of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, that was committed to the "respect, solidarity and mutual work" in bilateral relations.

"The authorities of the island of Aruba, especially the prime minister (Evelyn Wever-Croes), have been emphatic in the non-intervention in Venezuela's domestic matters," said El Aissami.

"Hopefully common sense will prevail in the officials of other islands and prevent them from being instruments of aggression against the territory of Venezuela," he said.

He pointed out that the Venezuelan government expects to increase "fair trade" and air connectivity with Aruba.

Maritime and air communications with Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire were closed on Feb. 20, and the border with Brazil was closed a day later.

The Venezuelan government argued each border closure came down to safeguarding the country against a plan instigated by the United States to forcefully bring alleged "humanitarian aid" into Venezuela on Feb. 23. Enditem

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