OVER 100,000 Venezuelans queued at the San Antonio del Tachira border crossing into Colombia over the weekend to buy foods and medicines that are in short supply at home.
It was the second weekend in a row that the socialist government has opened the border with Colombia, which was closed, as were all crossings, a year ago to obstruct smuggling.
Speculators were accused then of causing shortages by buying state-subsidised food and petrol in Venezuela and taking them to Colombia to be sold for far higher prices.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has played down talk of a humanitarian crisis, blaming his government’s political enemies and self-serving smugglers for shortages.
He dismissed as a “media show” televised images of 500 women pushing through the border checkpoint a few weeks ago claiming to be desperate to buy food.
Venezuelan state TV ran footage on Sunday of citizens returning from Colombia empty-handed, dissuaded by “price-gouging” and the threat of violence from their neighbours.