Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the reopening of the country's border with Colombia in western Tachira state, near where international aid refused by Caracas has amassed.

The economically devastated South American nation is suffering from shortages of food, medicine and other essentials amid a power struggle between Mr Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries, including the US.

Announcing the reopening of the frontier on Twitter, Mr Maduro said: "We are a people of peace that strongly defends our independence and self-determination."

The leader, however, did not say whether crucial border bridges, closed since August 2015 after two Venezuelan soldiers were wounded by suspected smugglers, would be unblocked.

Mr Maduro in February ordered the total closure of land frontiers with Brazil and Colombia, as well as sea and air links with the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean.

Mr Guaido wanted to bring food and medicine into the country, but the Maduro-backed army blocked the border bridges and prevented the entry of cargo.

Mr Maduro says Venezuela is the victim of an "economic war" waged by the United States and believes the aid was a smoke screen to prepare a "foreign invasion".

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

The Venezuelan government in May reopened its land border with Brazil and the sea route with Aruba, but not with other islands such as Bonaire and Curacao.

Relations between Venezuela and Colombia, who share a land border stretching 2,220km, have been broken since 23 February after Colombian President Ivan Duque announced his support for Mr Guaido.

Many Venezuelans cross the frontier illegally every day to get supplies because of the serious shortage of basic necessities.

Read more

Venezuela's tale of two presidents