CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuela and Colombia have agreed on the gradual reopening of their border one year after the Venezuelan government closed crossings to crack down on smuggling.
The announcement came after Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela and Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia met Thursday.
They agreed to begin the process starting Saturday. Officials will open five border checkpoints for pedestrians from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day.
Venezuelans have been desperate to cross into Colombia to buy food and medicine as shortages worsen in their economically struggling country.
Hundreds of Venezuelans stormed a border checkpoint in July and illegally crossed into Colombia for the day to go grocery shopping. In the weeks following that incident, Venezuela temporarily opened the border for short periods to allow people to buy food and medicine.