Colombia, Venezuela Recall Envoys Over Border Tension

Colombia, Venezuela Recall Envoys Over Border TensionColombia, Venezuela Recall Envoys Over Border Tension

Venezuela and Colombia recalled their ambassadors amid a dispute over the closure of a major border crossing. Hundreds of Colombians have been deported under a Caracas plan to curb crime along the frontier.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced his decision to recall the country’s ambassador from Caracas in a televised address Thursday, accusing the Venezuelan government of only pursuing “solutions involving force,” DW reported.

Later on Thursday, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said his country would also be recalling its ambassador from Colombia “for consultations.” Such a move is considered the diplomatic equivalent of lodging a complaint.

Rodriguez said relations with Colombia were being “fully revised” given the suffering “of our people at the hands of the paramilitaries and economic warfare.”

The countries’ foreign ministers met for talks in the Colombian resort city of Cartagena on Wednesday, pledging to solve the dispute and improve border security. However, no concrete agreements emerged from the meeting.

The tensions between the neighbors escalated last week after Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro closed a major border crossing in a bid to crack down on migrants and smuggling gangs. The move came in response to an attack by unknown assailants on an anti-smuggling military patrol.