CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – Venezuela has agreed to let more than 1,500 Colombians return as legal residents after they were deported during an August crackdown on the border.
The regional group UNASUR announced Monday that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro would allow them to come back and normalize their legal status with the help of his government.
Last week, Maduro met with Colombia's president and they agreed to send back their ambassadors who were recalled amid the dispute that has paralyzed trade and movement along the border.
Venezuela closed border crossings, deployed troops and deported some Colombian nationals as part of what it calls an initiative to combat smuggling and crime. The United Nations estimates nearly 20,000 more Colombians left voluntarily.
It is not known how many of the deported Colombians will want to return.