Foreign Ministers María Angela Holguin (Colombia) and Elías Jaua (Venezuela) are holding today a High-Level Binational meeting in the city of Maracaibo (Zulia state) to discuss smuggling and control-related issues. In the talks, Jaua said it is an objective set by both governments to check this scourge that is affecting the population’s food security.

This is the right time to curb this scourge that is hitting the economies of Venezuela and Colombia, he added.

According to Jaua, the meeting will contribute to design an operational plan to deal with the problem and achieve immediate results.

Meanwhile, Holguin said that smuggling is hitting both governments in a different, though serious way.

“It is something we have to show: we can fight these mafias” that are draining the two nations and we cannot tolerate it,” she said.

The Venezuelan delegation also includes ministers Rafael Ramirez (Oil and Mining); Dante Rivas (Trade); Aloha Nunez (Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs) and the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights of Venezuela, Andreina Tarazon.

Other members are Gen. Vladimir Padrino, Strategic Operational Commander of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, and the governors of Zulia, Tachira and Apure states.

Advances registered in this meeting will be submitted to Presidents Juan Manuel Santos and Nicolas Maduro, who agreed to meet in March to review a special program called “Colombian-Venezuelan Anti-Smuggling Task Force”