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Colombians protest Venezuela's decision to close border

Posted on Aug 19 2014 | IANS

Bogota, Aug 19 : Colombian protestors blocked two border crossings into Venezuela to protest the latter's decision to close its border with Colombia in its fight against smuggling.

Venezuela Monday began shutting down the border from 10.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. to curb the smuggling of government-subsidised and price-controlled food and fuel into Colombia, Xinhua reported.

The cheap gas and food items in Venezuela has drawn smugglers to sell them abroad.

The closure, however, drawn complaints from locals, with the protestors blockading the Simon Bolivar and Francisco de Paula Santander border bridges, both located in the country's northeastern city of Cucuta.

Hundreds of vendors working along the border complained that Venezuela's decision has caused significant economic losses.

Venezuelan officials, however, said the move has prevented some 96 tons of basic consumer goods and 300,000 litres of fuel from being smuggled out of the country, and is thus effective.

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