Venezuela's army blocks bridge to stop humanitarian aid getting through

Aerial view of trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for Venezuela driving to the Tienditas Bridge on the border between Cucuta Colombia and Tachira Venezuela where Venezuelan military officers have blocked the bridge

According to Rodriguez's reconstruction of the facts, Borges and other opposition leaders, with the help of the Central Intelligence Agency, were organizing a military uprising in Caracas that was discovered and blocked by Venezuelan security forces on January 21.

"As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach".

The official declined to provide details on the discussions or the level at which they are being held, and it was unclear whether such contacts could create cracks in the Venezuelan socialist leader's support from the military, which is pivotal to his grip on power.

Most Latin American and European countries also support Venezuelan opposition claims the Maduro government is now illegitimate, after it barred most opposition candidates from running in last year's election.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said today the US -backed humanitarian aid being stockpiled in the Colombian border city of Cucuta for his country should be distributed to poor Colombians as Venezuelans are not "beggars".

On Friday morning an awning was set up on the Venezuelan side of the Simon Bolivar pedestrian bridge, the main point of entry between the two Andean countries, in aim of collecting signatures in support of Maduro to remain president of Venezuela.

Trucks loaded with humanitarian aid for Venezuela arrive at Cucuta border on February 7, 2018.

The pro-Maduro Supreme Court has already barred Guaido from leaving the country and frozen his bank accounts while prosecutors investigate what they call his anti-government activities.

European nations have been broadly critical of Maduro but have sought to strike a counterpoint to the aggressive US stance by urging dialogue.

'Take all that humanitarian aid and give it to the people of Cucuta, where there is a lot of need, ' Maduro said at his news conference.

"The humanitarian aid has become a show to justify an invasion of the country", Maduro said. And they worry hawks in the Trump administration may be advocating for military solutions to try to resolve complex diplomatic, economic and political problems.

Leon believes Maduro will try to avoid the use of force to impede aid deliveries.

Maduro said he was willing to meet with envoys of the so-called International Contact Group, that is backed by the European Union, but said a statement from its first meeting on Thursday was partisan and ideological.

Guaido recently downplayed the need for USA intervention in Venezuela during an interview with VOA in which he said, "We will as a sovereign Venezuelan people do what is necessary to achieve stability in our country".

Scott noted Cuba had sent military troops to Venezuela to defend Maduro.

"And who do you think you are?"

"You're deaf to the reality of a revolution with 20 years of democratic patrimony; you only follow the script written by the extreme right", he said.

More defiantly, the socialist president contends that the aid is part of a USA -led coup against him, with a goal to colonize Venezuela and exploit its vast oil resources.

Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido refused to rule out Friday the possibility of authorizing United States intervention to help force President Nicolas Maduro from power and alleviate a humanitarian crisis.

Additional aid is being stored in Miami and Houston and "ready to be deployed to the region immediately", the US said in a statement.

Maduro appeared on state TV Wednesday evening wearing a white lab coat demonstrating what he considers Venezuela's modern health care system in clinics countrywide - without mentioning attempts to block medical supplies at the border.



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