Venezuelans cried when they saw stocked shelves at Colombian stores
The Venezuelan opposition announced they “validated enough signatures” to move forward to oust President Nicolas Maduro:
Opposition leader Jesus Torrealba said election officials confirmed the validity of some 407,000 signatures that were under review, more than double the 200,000 signatures required.
“There is no formal, legal or technical excuse for them not to immediately convoke the next phase” of the referendum process, Torrealba told The Associated Press.
Once the National Election Council confirms the validation, the opposition can begin the next step:
If confirmed, the opposition can begin collecting the roughly 4 million signatures needed to hold the referendum. If a vote is held, the president would be removed only if the number of anti-Maduro votes exceeded the 7.6 million votes he received in the 2013 election. In December’s parliamentary elections, opposition candidates mustered 7.7 million votes even and currently control the legislature.
The opposition claims Maduro’s socialist policies have driven the country into a downward spiral. People have no food, Maduro has taken over all, but one of the food producers, crime has gone up, and there are no jobs.
The news comes only a few days after Venezuelans went to Colombia to buy food. Witnesses said some people cried when they saw food and basic necessities. The sight of milk and toilet paper overwhelmed the people, who cannot even buy a small package of flour in Venezuela:
After the border opened at 6 a.m., thousands streamed across dragging empty suitcases that they hoped to fill with produce. As the frontier was only open to foot traffic for a few hours, most immediately boarded buses provided by local authorities and headed to the shops in downtown Cucuta that had opened early for them.
Most Venezuelans in the Los Montes supermarket loaded up on rice, cooking oil and maize flour. Some bought toilet paper, sanitary towels, sunblock, soap and shampoo.
“I’ll give birth sooner than I’ll find shampoo in Venezuela,’’ said one woman who was weighing whether to buy a Pantene brand shampoo, adding that she was two months pregnant.
“To get a kilo of rice, you have to queue for six to eight hours, exposing yourself to mistreatment, people pushing, jumping in line, then when you get to the front they close the store and say everything’s sold out,” said Rosalba Duarte, a nurse from the town of Capacho who said she began queuing at the border at 3 a.m
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