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Venezuelans Stream Into Colombia to Buy Food, Medicine

  • VOA News

Venezuelan citizens are seen carrying bags as they cross the Colombian-Venezuelan border over the Simon Bolivar international bridge, after shopping and taking advantage of the temporary border opening in San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, July 10, 2016.

Venezuelan citizens are seen carrying bags as they cross the Colombian-Venezuelan border over the Simon Bolivar international bridge, after shopping and taking advantage of the temporary border opening in San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, July 10, 2016.

Thousands of Venezuelans streamed across the border into Colombia Sunday to purchase essential goods that have become impossible to find or purchase in their home country because of a severe economic crisis that has caused critical shortages.

Many drove hours to take advantage of the 12-hour opening of the border between Tachira, Venezuela and Cucuta, Colombia.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro closed the border last year for security reasons, but ordered Sunday's temporary lapse.

Venezuelans were able to stock up on items in Colombia that have become almost impossible to find or afford in Venezuela, like flour, oil, toilet paper, shampoo and medicines amid triple-digit inflation.

Last week, hundreds of Venezuelans illegally crossed into Colombia in search of basic goods.

The shortages are mainly blamed on the drop in oil revenues in Venezuela, a country that imports almost everything it consumes.

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