Venezuela extending nighttime border closure

AP News
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Posted: Sep 11, 2014 9:31 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's president says the nighttime closure of the border with Colombia will continue for three more months as part of the government's campaign to combat smuggling of oil and food.

President Nicolas Maduro announced the decision Thursday, saying the seven-hour shutdown of border crossings that began Aug. 11 has been successful in curbing smugglers.

Venezuelans are faced with shortages of basic pantry staples, and the problem has been aggravated by some people selling heavily subsidized oil and basic goods across the border in Colombia, where prices are higher. Widespread shortages were among the factors that sparked a bloody street protest movement during the spring.

The 1,400 mile (2,240-kilometer) border is closed between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.