HAVANA TIMES – Nearly 2,000 Venezuelan migrants were stuck on the Colombian side of the border on Thursday after Venezuelan security forces prevented them from crossing over from the city of Cucuta, reported dpa news.
The Venezuelans were refusing to leave the Simon Bolivar border bridge, where no crossings had been allowed for 28 hours, broadcaster RCN reported.
Colombia has been hosting about 1.8 million Venezuelans, the vast majority of whom fled their country’s economic and political crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic left many of them without means of survival in the informal sector, and tens of thousands have returned home.
But Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government recently limited entries from Cucuta to 300 people three times a week, according to the Colombian authorities.
Venezuela was on Thursday not allowing anyone to cross the bridge, according to RCN.
Thousands of Venezuelans are staying in Cucuta, where many of them are sleeping outside and complain of hunger. Their crowded conditions have sparked concern about coronavirus infections spreading in the area.
Caracas has not answered several media queries on the reasons why it is limiting the entries. Venezuelan opposition politician Gaby Arellano accused the Maduro government of wanting to create chaos on the Colombian side of the border.
Venezuela has icy relations with Colombia, which it accuses of plotting to topple Maduro together with the United States.