Maduro: Venezuela's Independence Being Destroyed Under Cloak of Humanitarian Aid

On Friday, global charities in Colombia distanced themselves from Guaido's aid distribution, sending a letter to governments and United Nations agencies in which they expressed "concerns about the methods through which humanitarian aid is planned to be sent from Colombia to Venezuela".

"Venezuela won't allow the spectacle of fake humanitarian aid because we're no one's beggars", Maduro said at a press conference in Caracas.

More than forty nations including the United States, major European powers and most Latin American countries have recognized Guaido as the country's rightful head of state.

Despite growing global political support for the opposition, the Venezuelan military has not defected en masse, and it remains unclear where the USA and the opposition go from here. Inflation has skyrocketed, and since 2015, more than three million Venezuelans have fled to neighbouring countries due to scarcity of food, jobs and medicine.

The US military is prepared to "protect" US personnel and diplomatic facilities in Venezuela if needed, the admiral in charge of American forces in South America says.

In the Colombian border town of Cucuta, where the first USA aid arrived Thursday, the American ambassador called on the Venezuelan security forces to allow the aid in.

"At the same time, what they did with humanitarian aid is a cheap spectacle". Total's Venezuela operations were previously managed from the US.

"We do not beg from anyone", Mr Maduro said.

Roughly 40 countries around the world have backed Guaido, who swore himself in as president in January.

Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey stood up for Maduro's support. The sanctions freeze $7 billion in US -based assets and target $11 billion of USA revenue to Venezuela's national oil company.

In an interview with Reuters, the anonymous Trump official said the White House believes the few officers who have defected from Maduro are the "first couple pebbles before we start really seeing bigger rocks rolling down the hill".

"This is a macabre game: we squeeze them by the neck and make them ask for crumbs".

"If they dare to continue blocking the way, all these volunteers will go open a humanitarian channel", he said. He argues Maduro was re-elected past year in a sham election.

Hector Vazquez Muniz, chief financial officer of Banco San Juan Internacional, said in a statement to the AP that the bank is complying with the USA sanctions and denied wrongdoing.

'The revolution is more alive than ever, ' Maduro said.

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

"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.

He also said that Caracas is ready to support the "Montevideo mechanism" or any other initiative aimed at contributing to dialogue in Venezuela.


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