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Venezuela to close border with Colombia at night

August 10, 2014

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela will close its border with Colombia at night to crack down on the smuggling of oil and food.

While the socialist country grapples with shortages of basic pantry staples, some people are making a killing selling heavily subsidized oil and pantry staples in Colombian border towns.

Venezuelan Gen. Vladimir Padrino announced Saturday that the 1,400 mile (2,240-kilometer) border will be closed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., starting Monday.

Colombia agreed to the closure after President Nicolas Maduro met with his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos earlier his month.

Venezuelans pay pennies for a gallon of gas and can buy many grocery items for less than a dollar, when they can find them. Widespread shortages were among the factors that sparked a bloody street protest movement this spring.

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