Thousands of citizens of Venezuela are lining up at the border of Venezuela and Colombia with food shortage becoming a major problem in the country. With the socialist state of Nicolas Maduro looking to collapse, people do not want to return until their President who is seen spending his money while its citizens are dying of hunger. This is creating pressure on the neighboring country with more than 25,000 people looking to cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge to reach Cucuta, a Colombian town.
One of the many looking to flee the country is Jeferson José Gutierres who was seen fleeing Venezuela along with his wife and three children. When he talked to BBC, he said that he would return to Venezuela only after Maduro goes. A shelter in Cucuta has reported an increase in the number of migrants. According to The Scalabrini International Migration Network, there were about 650 people between January and June who stopped at the center. But, in August alone, there have already been 850 people and the number is set to increase in the coming months.
The person running this shelter is Franklin Diaz who said that the problem is with the Venezuelan government and that they are responsible for their actions and has to better manage their resources. Even with its citizens dying of hunger due to food shortage, Maduro is preparing for a war with the US. He has also instructed the troops to keep their rifles, missiles, and tanks ready for war.
Families are crossing Colombian borders looking for food and supplies. People are crossing the borders with empty suitcases so that they can stock up on food when returning. In Cucuta, there is a local church that is feeding more than 2,000 people a day. The Colombian government has received applications of more than 700,000 people looking for border mobility cards that allow people to move between Venezuela and Colombia without the need of a passport.
The Secretary for victims, peace and post-conflict for the province of Norte de Santander, Luis Fernando Niño López, said that not everyone crossing the border is staying, but was wondering what would happen if the borders are closed and the armed groups do not let the people go back to their country.