Venezuelans cross into Colombia to get food, medicine

Maduro opens border to avoid repeat of 500 women crashing gate to go into Colombia

Venezuelans cross into Colombia to get food, medicine

World Bulletin / News Desk

More than 35,000 Venezuelans reportedly crossed into Colombia on Sunday after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro reopened a border gate to allow residents to buy supplies in the country to the west, local media reported.

Desperate residents forced to go for long periods without staples crossed the border between the southwest state of Tachirá in Venezuela into the northern municipally of Cucutá, Colombia, to stock up on food and medicine.

They took advantage of a 12-hour “human corridor” announced by Tachirá state Gov. José Gregorio Vielma Mora. The orders came from Maduro to avoid another confrontation at the border.

Confrontation was created last July by a group of more than 500 women who crossed the border to buy food in Colombia and rumors spread that another group that was going to attempt to do the same, allegedly organized by opposition Venezuelan politicians. 

“The instruction of President Nicolas Maduro, in good faith and peace is that he does not want to clash with people at the border and ordered the lifting of the fence" Vielma Mora told local media.

Venezuela unilaterally began closing of the major border crossing with Colombia last August after three Venezuelan troops were shot amid growing political and economic crises in the socialist-run state.

Maduro initially closed the border for 72 hours in Táchira and to the north of Santander and blamed the attack on Colombian paramilitary fighters.

Days later he extended the closure indefinitely to extend along the entire stretch of Venezuela’s 2,219-kilometer (1,380-mile) border with Colombia.

The measure has severely strained relations between the two nations. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Temmuz 2016, 11:58