Thousands of Venezuelans flocked to the border with Colombia ahead of its reopening with many people queuing overnight.
All of them are desperate to cross into Colombia to stock up on basic supplies which have become extinct in the south American country.
The border is been reopened a year after it was close and at a time when shortages of basic goods have reached crisis point in Venezuela which is facing an unprecedented economic strife.
In San Cristobel, we can't find rice. You go all day looking ... queuing up and you can't get rice because there is no rice in Venezuela
Nancy Cardenas, a Venezuelan who took advantage of the opening of the border explained that: “In San Cristobel, we can’t find rice. You go all day looking, two days, three days, queuing up and you can’t get rice because there is no rice in Venezuela. There is no rice, no sugar, no toilet paper. There is no bath soap, no washing powder for your clothes.”
Heriberto Salinas’ motivation for crossing the border into Colombia was more of a life-saving mission to get medication for his wife’s thrombosis which are not available back in Venezuela.
“You can’t find medicine, you can’t find food, but especially pharmaceutical products,” he said.
The reopening of the border therefore is a lifeline for Venezuelans who are stocking up on supplies and taking as much as they can back home.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro closed the border last year for security reasons.
After recent temporary openings, five crossings will now be opened each day to pedestrians from early morning until nine at night.