Venezuela’s Desperation Spilling Into Neighboring Colombia

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CUCUTA, Colombia (CBSMiami) — The luggage coming through makes it look like an airport but at the bridge that spans the border between Venezuela and Cucuta, Colombia, thousands of Venezuelans cross daily in search of food, medicine and work.

gettyimages 630310868 Venezuelas Desperation Spilling Into Neighboring Colombia

People cross the Simon Bolivar international bridge from San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela to Norte de Santander province, Colombia, on December 20, 2016. (Photo by GEORGE CASTELLANOS/AFP/Getty Images)

Some return home. Marco Gonzalez says he can’t.

“It’s very difficult,” he said in Spanish.

His wife and son are coming with him. Their child has autism and needs medication. Marco’s wife, Liliola, said their son also had heart surgery.

On the other side of the border, protesters and Venezuelan armed forces clash almost daily. They are fighting over the socialist government’s policies, which critics blame for the economic collapse.

On Tuesday, President Nicolas Maduro fired back at U.S. attempts to intervene.

Most Venezuelans struggling blame him for the country’s problems. Manuel and Rosa Gonzalez say you just can’t have a baby there now because you can’t get medicine and the hospitals are contaminated.

“You feel like there’s no other option,” the couple said.

Many live life unsure if Venezuela will be able to recover.

“A lot of pain, said Marco. “This is real life.”

On Sunday, thousands of Venezuelans around the world participated in a symbolic rejection of the Venezuela president’s plan to rewrite the constitution. The Venezuelan government called the opposition vote a manipulation aimed at destabilizing the country.

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