Thoughts On The Venezuela-Colombia Border

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An excellent outline of the situation along the Venezuela-Colombian border in mid July 2016

The Devil's Excrement

Frontera1

Venezuelans crowd the Simon Bolivar bridge in the border with Colombia waiting for its opening to go buy food and supplies there.

I have been fascinated by the events at the Venezuela-Colombia border for the last two weekends, as the Government decided to open a relief valve and let Venezuelans go over to Colombia for the day to shop. The scenes have been fascinating, but more importantly, the political, social and most of all, economic significance of what we have seen is simply riveting.

Start with the fact that the Government shut down the border a year ago in order to supposedly stop contraband from Venezuela to Colombia. An explanation which was simply grandstanding, as the contraband flows through the hundreds of unpaved paths (trochas) that criss-cross the  border under the watchful eye (and sponsorship) of the Venezuelan military. Thus it was simply a remarkably sight, as well as lesson…

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