techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com February 21, 2019


Venezuela's humanitarian aid standoff

09 February 2019, 01:39 | Glen Norman

US urges Venezuelan troops to allow aid into the country in exchange for freedom from sanctions

Venezuelan military sets up barricades at Colombia border crossing to block aid

"You could imagine a possibility that if there is a need to go into Venezuela and do humanitarian operations, or need to go into Venezuela to do other types of operations such as protecting the members of the Guaido government or members of the National Assembly at risk", said Evan Ellis, a research professor of Latin American studies at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.

Colombian officials and a CNN photojournalist at the scene confirmed the presence of the blockade, which would effectively prevent humanitarian aid from reaching Venezuela via this route.

China says peaceful dialogue and political means are the "only way" toward enduring peace in Venezuela and says it backs multinational efforts toward that end.

Aerial view of the Tienditas Bridge, in the border between Cucuta, Colombia and Tachira, Venezuela, after Venezuelan military forces blocked it with containers on February 6, 2019.

Lester Toledo, who represents Guaido in the aid mission in Cucuta, issued a message to Venezuelan troops, telling them the aid contains food and medicine their own families need.

It's possible the Venezuelan government fears aid crossing the border could be used as cover for an invasion to depose Maduro.

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Maduro also accused US President Donald Trump of orchestrating a coup.

But it appears President Nicolas Maduro will not let rival leader Guaido secure any semblance of a political victory, even if it's at the cost of his people.

"The package is very nice on the outside: humanitarian aid". On Friday, Romania's president became the latest world leader to recognize Guaido as interim president nearly a week after other European Union countries did so.

"And there are a number of countries who are willing to accept him".

Venezuela's Foreign Ministry has denounced any worldwide support for Guaido, suggesting that European governments were acting as part of a US-led effort to topple Maduro, who has showed no signs of relinquishing power.

Guaido, who heads the opposition-led National Assembly, declared himself Venezuela's legitimate ruler on January 23.

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Leahy (D-Vt.) said he was concerned Barr's previous testimony on the subject "could lay the groundwork for potentially no transparency at all".

Maduro also repudiated a statement issued by the International Contact Group on Venezuela.

Present at the meeting were representatives from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Britain, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay, as well as the EU.

The bridge is at the same site where officials plan to store humanitarian aid that Guaido is vowing to deliver to Venezuela.

A Venezuelan Supreme Court justice says the constitution does not include language for forming a transitional government as opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido claims.

"The main objective here is to bring humanitarian assistance- and if it must be done by military support, so be it", he said.

Opening a session in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a contribution of 53 million Canadian dollars ($40.4 million) in aid to Venezuela.

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However military intervention opponents point out the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela does not pose a direct security threat to the United States. "Venezuela keeps going!" Maduro said at a recent pro-government rally.



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