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Latin American Countries Attempt to Help Venezuela Financial Crisis

by Associated Press / / Source: Associated Press
Venezuelans shop for groceries at a supermarket in Cucuta, Colombia on July 17. Thousands of Venezuelans crossed the border with Colombia to take advantage of its 12-hour opening after it was closed by the Venezuelan government 11 months ago.SCHNEYDER MENDOZA / AFP - Getty Images

The Venezuelan economy is getting some financial relief as its foreign reserve funds dwindle, and food and medicine become more expensive and scarce.

On Monday, state banks in Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay and Costa Rica, all members of the Latin American Reserve Fund, approved a three-year-loan of $482 million for Venezuela*s central bank.

RELATED: Hungry Venezuelans Take Desperate Measures in Worsening Crisis

The loan represents about 5 percent of the central bank*s reserves, which have plunged to a 13-year low as a collapse in oil prices forces the government to scramble for hard currency amid widespread shortages of basic goods.

Venezuela*s opposition has questioned the legality of the loan since it didn't have the blessing of congress. But the Colombia-based multilateral lender, which was created by regional governments in the 1970s to assist members in time of financial stress, said Venezuela*s Supreme Court signed off on the request.

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