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Venezuela and Colombia Reopen Border After Nearly A Year

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Venezuela and Colombia have reopened their common border after nearly a year.

Thousands of Venezuelans began crossing into Colombia in the early hours of August 13 to buy much-needed supplies. Long queues had formed before dawn.

Venezuela is facing a severe economic crisis, with shortages of many goods. It had closed the border with Colombia nearly a year ago on security grounds.


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An agreement to reopen the border was announced on August 11 by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

The two leaders said that during the first stage only pedestrians would be allowed to cross.

“We are going to open the border gradually,” said Juan Manuel Santos.

The five main crossings along the 1,370 miles-border will be open daily from 08:00 to 20:00 local time.

The authorities expect the queues to disappear as people realize that the situation has been normalized.

President Nicolas Maduro ordered the border to be closed in August 2015 after former Colombian paramilitaries attacked a Venezuelan military patrol and wounded three soldiers.

Many Colombians were expelled, and bilateral trade has since fallen.

When border crossings were allowed briefly in July, nearly 200,000 Venezuelans poured across to stock up on items including cooking oil, sugar and rice.

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.

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