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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Venezuela re-opens border for Colombians to buy food

A Venezuelan citizen at the border opening in San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, July 10, 2016
Around 35,000 Venezuelans crossed the border last week when it opened for 12 hours

Venezuela has opened its border with Colombia for the second time this month to allow people to cross over to shop for basic foods and medicines.
Last week 35,000 crossed over for the first time since the border was closed a year ago by President Nicolas Maduro to fight cross-border crime.
Officials said they were expecting even larger crowds this weekend.

Many basic goods are in short supply in Venezuela because of a severe economic crisis in the country.
The border across a pedestrian bridge connecting Tachira in Venezuela and Cucuta in Colombia opened on Saturday, a day earlier than authorities from both countries had previously announced.
Officials said they wanted to avoid the build-up of too many people.
It was expected to stay open for about 12 hours.
Venezuela has suffered severe shortages for months as a result of the falling price of oil which is the country's prime source of income.
Many supermarket have empty shelves and Venezuelans spend days in queues to buy basic goods.
Government critics also blame President Maduro for severe mismanagement of the economy.
Mr Maduro for his part has blamed the country's business community for the shortages.
He ordered the border to be closed in August 2015 after former Colombian paramilitaries attacked a Venezuelan military patrol and wounded three soldiers.

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