Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said he had ordered more of his country’s vast border with Colombia closed amid a diplomatic crisis over deportations and smuggling.
“I have decided to close the border crossing at Paraguachon, Zulia state,” Maduro said in a televised address. He said he would send an additional 3,000 troops in to the area.
The countries have been locked in a row since Maduro on August 19 closed part of the border after unidentified assailants attacked a Venezuelan anti-smuggling patrol, wounding three soldiers and a civilian.
Maduro blamed the attack on right-wing paramilitaries from Colombia.
He has accused the neighboring country of waging an attack on Venezuela’s economy—a reference to the rampant smuggling of heavily subsidized food and other goods out of Venezuela, where more than five million Colombians live.