María Corina Machado assaulted while visiting a hospital:
Opposition leader María Corina Machado went to visit the Hospital Central de San Cristóbal, where a reported 154 babies have died due to the severe shortage of medical supplies and medications. A crowd of chavistas tried to prevent her from entering, and the above video reports that, in addition to shoving and hitting her, a shot was fired and members of the mob threw molotov cocktails.
— María Corina Machado (@MariaCorinaYA) July 25, 2016
For the third weekend in a row, Venezuelans crossed into Colombia to buy food,
Some Venezuelans traveled hundreds of miles through the night on long-distance buses to make the crossing during the weekend openings. They hugged Colombian border guards and wentracing for the supermarkets. Stuffing suitcases and duffel bags with as many items as they could fit and their bolivars could buy, they went home with sacks of rice, sugar, corn meal and milk powder, like sailors preparing for a long voyage at sea.
It was a short reprieve. In recent days, border traffic has been much more limited. Colombian authorities — worried the growing crowds could spiral out of control — say they want to end the ad hoc crossings and reopen the border on a long-term basis.
How are they paying for this? Miguel Octavio posits,
Let’s say the average Venezuelan carried US$100 in Bolivars across the border. This turns out to be US$ 13.5 million. Believe it or not, this is a large amount in Venezuela these days for the black market. Thus, I have no idea how the Colombian merchants could possible hope to convert this money back into Pesos or US$ swiftly. Moreover, I don´t see how they could have done so without the paralell [sic] rate of exchange increasing significantly.
But there has been little movement on the black market rate so far.
So, what gives? How did they do it? Because these border people are sophisticated when it comes to taking currency risks. They just don´t do it!
My guess at this time, absent any other theory, is that it may have been the Venezuelan Government that provided the hard currency. Since the Government planned the opening, prepared this sort of relief valve, it must have been aware of the possible pressure on the black market and excess liquidity and provided funds to the money exchangers at the border. This not only make sense, but lest you think that they are too dumb for that, remember that when it comes to guisos and graft, these guys are the best there is. I welcome any other alternate explanation.
— Michael Welling (@WellingMichael) July 26, 2016