300,000 Venezuelans flee food shortage, Colombian official says - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

300,000 Venezuelans flee food shortage, Colombian official says

Colombia's finance minister says the Venezuelan economic crisis is impacting the region. (Source: CNN) Colombia's finance minister says the Venezuelan economic crisis is impacting the region. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - The Colombian finance minister says the political and economic crisis in Venezuela has become a humanitarian one.

Mauricio Cardenas says the situation has become difficult for the entire region at a time when the global economy is picking up. He shared on Thursday his concerns over Venezuela with CNN's Richard Quest in Washington, DC, including that the lack of food was causing people to lose weight involuntarily. 

"Yeah. Big issue for Latin America. First of all, the humanitarian issue for Venezuela and the Venezuelans. They have lost an average of 8 kilos (17.6 pounds) per person,” Cardenas said.  “That means there is no food. Restrictions are really affecting people. People are crossing the border into Colombia. We have 300,000 Venezuelans now in Colombia. We provide them with health, with education, food. But the situation is very difficult. And then, concern about a Venezuelan default, which would have consequences."

Venezuela has been hurt by the downward spiral of oil prices as well as government mismanagement, critics says.

In June, the U.S. slapped sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Protests against the Maduro government have led to the deaths of dozens of people in the nation of 30 million. 

"It has to be a solution, there has to be elections. Elections, so there's the option for people to change the government and of course change the economy. At the end of the day this is not about the left or the right, this is about wrong economic policies," Cardenas said of Venezuela.  

Copyright 2017 CNN. All rights reserved. 

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