SUBJ LATE PATROLS ALONG THE VILLE
(CMD COC)--Following reports coming in from South America--
...people are queueing all night for food and medicine; the inflation rate at over 700 percent is the highest in the world; and murders and kidnappings are spiralling out of control.
Violent crime is rampant and the police are unable to stop people from looting, or others from killing for a bag of food.
The looting of bakeries, pharmacies and especially supermarkets is spreading through the country. At long queues of people waiting to buy food, the army is deployed to maintain order.
Although the border was heavily patrolled by Venezuelan troops, the crowds were mostly orderly amid an atmosphere of tense excitement. A few activists handed out anti-government pamphlets, looking to galvanize the frustration that has characterized food riots and long lines outside supermarkets in recent weeks.
Some of those waiting to cross made anti-government chants and sang the national anthem, but there was no appetite for confrontation. They were focused on the prospect of getting at fully stocked supermarket shelves and the opportunity to buy even non-essential indulgences like nail polish and beer before the re-closing of border crossings Sunday night.
Saturday’s opening took businesses in the Colombian border city of Cucuta by surprise since it had been announced that the border would opened on Sunday.
The Colombian defense minister, Luis Carlos Villegas, said “we have made a great effort to have sufficient supplies” for the Venezuelans expected to stream across the border on Saturday and Sunday.
Governor Jose Vielma of the Venezuelan border state of Tachira said that President Nicolas Maduro supported the opening, ordering that people “not be disturbed” when they crossed into Colombia.
DIST ALL STORES, CAFES, SCULLERY & POT SHACK---CENTRAL BASE COMPOUND...