Imagine having to walk to Canada to go grocery shopping. That’s the equivalent of what is happening now in socialist Venezuela. On Sunday, border crossings with neighboring Colombia were opened for 12 hours and approximately 35,000 Venezuelans walked across the border to shop for things like rice and pasta. From Fox News:
People began crossing the Simon Bolivar international bridge at 5:00 a.m. to purchase products that are scarce in Venezuela.
“We’re from here in San Antonio (and), honestly, we don’t have any food to give our children, so I don’t think it’s fair that the border is still closed,” a Venezuelan woman told EFE in Cucuta.
The woman, who preferred to not give her name, crossed the international bridge with her husband and children ages 5 and 2.
President Maduro had previously closed the border in a bid to stop smugglers (he claimed). With food riots now breaking out in some parts of the country, he seems to have reconsidered. The items the international shoppers bought were not extravagant, just staples like pasta, rice and toilet paper that are no longer readily available in Venezuela:
Betty Rojas, a Venezuelan already heading home, said she and others planned to cross whenever the border was open.
“We bought rice, pasta, sugar, toilet paper, butter, everything we could bring back. We had enough for lots of stuff,” Rojas told EFE, adding that she wanted to tell the Colombian government “thank you.”
You really have to see the crowd of people swarming across the bridge to get a sense of it. Venezuelans are so desperate that the chance to buy butter sounds a lot like the opening of Disneyland:
This BBC report contains some additional local interviews including a middle-aged Venezuelan man who says “we’re starving.”