As Venezuela continues to deteriorate the citizens are fleeing by record numbers. “Most Venezuelan families these days hope a member leaves, somewhere, in order to send money back,” the man adds. He is echoed by a Venezuelan accountant who entered Colombia this weekend and is determined to stay even if “I have to stand at a corner all day selling arepas”, a maize staple in both nations.

According to a senior Colombian immigration official, that is now the trend: “The number of Venezuelans crossing into Colombia, legally or illegally, has grown a lot.” Indeed, in the past two months, in scenes familiar to the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost 300,000 Venezuelans flooded across the previously closed Colombian border to buy the food and medicines they could not find on Venezuela’s barren shelves. The Colombian government estimates a chunk of those never returned home. CONTINUE