Venezuelans flee to Brazil amid economic uncertainty

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Brasilia, Aug 21 (IANS) The number of Venezuelans trying to flee a national economic collapse and migrating to Brazil is rising, an official has said.

The Brazilian army spokesman said about 900 Venezuelans were expected in Rorarima state on Monday, despite Saturday’s attacks on makeshift migrant border camps, the BBC reported.

The steep rise in the daily average followed fresh uncertainty after the issuing of new banknotes in Caracas.

The growing numbers of people trying to flee Venezuela’s economic collapse are stoking regional tensions in the South American continent.

Banks and shops will reopen in Venezuela on Tuesday after a public holiday on Monday, when the left-wing government lopped five zeros off the Bolivar and anchored it to a new virtual currency called the Petro, the BBC said.

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The government says the move is needed to tackle runaway inflation, but critics say it could lead to even more chaos.

Opposition groups have called for strikes and protests on Tuesday.

–IANS

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