Caracas : Venezuela, a Latin American country whose economy is known to be mainly dependent on oil is now facing acute shortage of food and essential commodities, creating chaos in the country. In the last two days, 125 thousand of Venezuelans are desperate to leave their country and enter neighboring Colombia for their basic needs like food and life-essentials. This is the second instance of Venezuelans being forced to cross over to Colombia
In the last two years, the Venezuelan economy has been hit badly due to the fall in global crude oil prices. As an effect the inflation rose by three digit percentage causing steep price increase. The economic situation has led to dramatic control on the use of local currency resulting in a decline in investments and imports. The socio-economic situation has created tremendous dissatisfaction amongst citizens against the ruling Government.
President Nicolas Maduro has dismissed accusations and rejected the current situation as ‘humanitarian crisis’. President Maduro has rather blamed the opposition and smugglers for conspiring to bring about a shortage of bare necessities in the country resulting in very steep inflation. President Maduro has also accused the US of plotting to overthrow his Government. However considering thousands of Venezuelans are crossing over to Colombian in the second consecutive week to get food, medicines and basic staples, suggests that the reasoning of President Maduro is unfounded.
In order to facilitate the Venezuelans from entering Colombia, the 2000 kilometer long border which was closed for more than a year has now been reopened. It was reported that the border had been shut last year to stop smuggling of food grains and gasoline.
Sources reported that since the border was opened on Saturday and Sunday, about 125 thousand Venezuelans have crossed over to Columbia. About 35,000 people crossed borders on Saturday and more than 88,000 on Sunday.
It is clearly seen that the Colombian government has made efforts to ensure sufficient supplies by bringing commodities from other parts of the country to the border, to enable the Venezuelans to buy the necessary goods. The authorities have reported that the Venezuelan citizens are buying commodities like sugar, flour and medicines in larger quantities. There has also been information of anti-Government pamphlets being distributed to the people waiting at the borders.