CUCUTA, Colombia – The lights are starting to come back on in parts of Caracas – Venezuela’s capital. But the extended power outage and ongoing food crisis have sent a tidal wave of humanity fleeing the country to neighboring Brazil and Colombia.
Here in the border town of Cucuta, thugs paid by Venezuelan Dictator Nicholas Maduro’s regime are targeting people for robbery and kidnapping.
As the US embassy pulled its remaining personnel out of Caracas on Tuesday, this CBN News reporter went back to the border where aid shipments were burned by Venezuelan troops two weeks ago.
The border between Venezuela and Colombia is now officially closed. The bridge that had tens of thousands of people crossing it when I was here two weeks ago is now essentially empty.
Now these refugees are finding new ways to cross the border, risking everything to cross in difficult locations. We observed hundreds making a water-crossing.
But crossing illegally is fraught with risk. These people say they are preyed upon by members of criminal biker gangs called Colectivos, who support Nicolas Maduro, and charge a fee or even rob people trying to get across. And they aren’t exaggerating.
As I was filming along the riverbank, I was attacked by three men who tried to drag me into Venezuela. There were several signs that these attackers were tied to the regime – for example, they were smoking cigarettes which most Venezuelans can’t afford since they’re struggling to survive.
While my camera was broken in the confrontation, I was able to get away from my attackers and they fled back across the river. But it was a powerful lesson in how Maduro’s brutal regime uses its power against these people every day.
Here’s an interview with more details about the altercation and the latest on what’s going on in Venezuela:
CBN News reporter Chuck Holton, along with a team member from Operation Blessing, were violently attacked on the border of Venezuela today by three men who appeared to be tied to Maduro, the country’s disputed brutal dictator. Thankfully, they were able to fight off the thugs, but not before two cameras were destroyed in the struggle. Chuck joins us to explain the desperate situation on the ground, and recount their experience on the border.Please pray for the citizens of Venezuela, as the situation on the ground grows more dire every day. Story: https://www.faithwire.com/2019/03/14/watch-thugs-attack-christian-reporter-at-venezuelan-border/
Posted by Faithwire on Thursday, March 14, 2019
Chuck Holton is a former Army Ranger and a CBN News contributing correspondent. Please remember to pray for the safety of CBN News correspondents on assignment around the world.