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Venezuela Extends Crackdown on Colombia Border to 4th State

  • Associated Press

FILE - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a news conference at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 24, 2015.

FILE - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gestures during a news conference at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Aug. 24, 2015.

President Nicolas Maduro is extending an anti-smuggling crackdown to a fourth state on the border with Colombia as foreign ministers from the two countries prepare to meet in Caracas.

Maduro said late Tuesday night said that a month-old state of emergency would be broadened to encompass part of the sparsely populated southern state of Amazonas.

Venezuela has closed border crossings, deployed troops and deported some 1,400 Colombian nationals as part of what it calls a crackdown on smuggling and crime.

Presidents of the South American neighbors met Monday to mediate a solution, but emerged with few concrete agreements besides scheduling Wednesday's meeting.

Also on Tuesday, Maduro denied that he was threatening another neighbor, Guyana. The president of Guyana has accused Venezuela of deploying troops to a contested border region.

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