Thousands of Venezuelans cross into Colombia again for food and other goods | News | DW | 17.07.2016
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Thousands of Venezuelans cross into Colombia again for food and other goods

Thousands of Venezuelans have crossed into the Colombian city of Cucuta out of desperation. The socialist country is on the verge of collapsing as it suffers from major shortages.

For the second time in a week, the border between the two countries was opened on Saturday to allow desperate Venezuelans to buy food and household necessities.

Caracas authorized the temporary opening of the border, which connects Cucuta with the Venezuelan city of San Antonio del Tachira and until last week had been closed for nearly a year after Colombian paramilitaries attacked a Venezuelan military unit.

Colombian authorities estimated that roughly 15,000 Venezuelans crossed over the border into Cucuta on Saturday. They assured the public that there was enough supplies to provide both Colombians and Venezuelans, even as Colombia grapples with a 40-day truckers' strike.

Karte Venezuela Kolumbien Tachira Cucuta Englisch

The border between Colombia and Venezuela was opened to allow desperate Venezuelans to buy food and other necessities

Growing desperation

Last week, roughly 25,000 Venezuelans poured into the city to buy everything from food to soap to toilet paper during a 12-hour window authorized by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

At the time, one woman told French news agency AFP: "There's no medicine for children; children are dying, people don't even have soap to wash clothes."

Venezuela has been suffering from major shortages as the country grapples with plummeting oil prices, which have left its economy in free fall. International observers have been quick to blame Maduro for his mishandling of the state-led economy.

The border is set to remain open for a total of 12 and a half hours.

blc/bw (AFP, EFE)

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