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Brazil president closing Venezuela border ’unthinkable’

SAO PAULO — Brazilian President Michel Temer says it would be “unthinkable” to close his country’s border to Venezuelans fleeing political and economic turmoil.

Temer caused concern on Wednesday when he said in a radio interview that authorities were considering using chits to limit the number of Venezuelans entering the country. His office later issued a statement saying the chits would only be used to help Brazilian authorities better respond to the needs of Venezuelans. Tens of thousands have arrived in Brazil, and many are hungry or sick.

Temer reminded reporters on Thursday that his government has pushed to keep the border open as the state where most Venezuelans are arriving has tried to shut it.

He implied his remarks were misinterpreted — possibly deliberately. He said closing the border is “unthinkable, non-negotiable.”