Aid Shipments Cross Venezuelan Border As Maduro’s Soldiers Abandon Their Posts

Feb 24, 2019, 00:44
Aid Shipments Cross Venezuelan Border As Maduro’s Soldiers Abandon Their Posts

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said he would hold Colombian President Ivan Duque accountable for any violence on February 23 - the announced date for "aid" to the country.

"The agencies of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross are not taking part in the US-Colombian show on the [Venezuelan] border due to a certain reason: it is absolutely clear that this operation has political goals and could not be described as humanitarian", Arreaza wrote on his Twitter page.

Meanwhile, Venezuelans and Colombians gathered at a border bridge to urge authorities to allow humanitarian aid into the country.

Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on indigenous people near the border with Brazil yesterday, killing two, as President Nicolas Maduro sought to block US -backed efforts to bring aid into his economically devastated nation. Get your hands off Venezuela Donald Trump. We want to work: "the people attempted to force their way through", said Viviana Meza, 29, who works in a Cucuta restaurant.

Friday's concert won't be the first time artists have used music to try and simmer tensions at the restive Colombia-Venezuela border.

A convoy of trucks is inching towards the Venezuelan border from Colombia, defying President Nicolas Maduro who insists the aid they are carrying is not required. The sanctions are part of a two-pronged approach by Guaido and his United States supporters - strip Maduro of cash to buy even the scraps of food he's been distributing to citizens, then ride to the rescue with critical supplies of their own.

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Venezuelan soldiers shot and killed two people and wounded 15 others when they tried to prevent the troops from blocking an entry route for humanitarian aid on the Brazilian border, a human rights groups said on Friday.

Russian's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies are discussing plans on how to arm the opposition in Venezuela and oust Mr Maduro from presidency.

A man carries Venezuelan flag to the Venezuela Aid Live concert on the Colombian side of Tienditas International Bridge on the outskirts of Cucuta, Colombia. "The Venezuelan military should protect civilians, not shoot them", he said.

"Among the troops, whether they are in the army, air force, navy or National Guard, many people disagree (with what is happening)", one of the troops, an officer whose uniform carried the name Linarez, told reporters after entering Colombia, according to another video on social media.

The "Venezuela Aid Live" concert in Cucuta was organized by British entrepreneur Richard Branson in support of Guaido's humanitarian aid relief plan.

USA sanctions on the oil industry, Venezuela's only real source of hard currency, threaten further suffering in a nation wracked by hyperinflation and hunger.

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"For that reason, I have made a decision to break all political and diplomatic relations with Colombia's fascist government", he told cheering supporters.

China, which along with Russian Federation backs Maduro, warned that humanitarian aid should not be forced across the border because doing so could lead to violence.

Guaido's move to assume the interim presidency and worldwide backing has galvanized Venezuela's opposition, which has vowed to keep protesting until Maduro steps down.

Guaidó has vowed the opposition will bring in foreign aid from neighboring countries on Saturday and called on security forces to disobey Maduro and let supplies into the country.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton canceled plans to travel to South Korea to prepare for a summit addressing North Korea's nuclear program in order to focus instead on events unfolding in Venezuela, his spokesman said on Friday. "We are with you".

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