Aid Enters Venezuela Despite Blockade by Government Troops

"We are here to support humanitarian aid, not politics", Olvera said later adding that he and his bandmates support democracy in Venezuela.

Guaido, who most Western nations recognize as Venezuela's legitimate leader, gave a personal send-off on Saturday to a convoy carrying US aid departing from the Colombian city of Cucuta.

Juan Guaido, recognised by most Western nations as the country's legitimate head of state, defied court orders not to leave Venezuela by arriving on Friday in the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where aid from the US and Colombian governments is stockpiled in warehouses. Get your hands off Venezuela Donald Trump. "They shot innocent people who were in their homes, working". On Saturday, he announced that all the country's borders would be closing, and severed diplomatic relations with Colombia.

The violence on Friday broke out in the village of Kumarakapay in southern Venezuela after an indigenous community stopped a military convoy that they believed was attempting to block aid deliveries from Brazil. The sanctions are part of a two-pronged approach by Guaido and his USA 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.

Moscow has also claimed the U.S. is delivering military equipment disguised as aid deliveries with plans to engage in "dangerous provocation".

"Due to the serious and illegal threats attempted by the Government of Colombia against peace and sovereignty in Venezuela, [the Venezuelan government] has taken the decision of a total, temporary closure of all bridges that unite both countries in Tachira", Delcy Rodriguez, Venezuela's vice president, wrote on Twitter.

On Thursday afternoon, organizers on the Colombia side of the border bridge were doing sound checks while in Venezuela a dozen workers sat idly in white plastic chairs chatting and listening to Venezuelan folk music on small speakers. Several soldiers, whose families suffer from the same shortages as other Venezuelans, took up his offer.

British billionaire Richard Branson is pictured before the "Venezuela Aid Live" concert which he organized to raise money for the Venezuelan relief effort, at Tienditas International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on February 22, 2019.

"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.

Some political analysts say the looming showdown is less about solving Venezuela's needs and more about testing the military's loyalty to Maduro by daring it to turn the aid away.With inflation running at more than 2 million percent a year and currency controls restricting imports of basic goods, a growing share of the country's roughly 30 million people is suffering from malnutrition.

Maduro blames Venezuela's dire situation on US sanctions that have blocked funds and hobbled the OPEC member's vital oil industry.

The forces of Nicolas Maduro vow to stop the aid from coming in at all costs.

Crowds let out confused murmurs and then cheers of elation when it was revealed that the fresh-faced lawyer had made his way across the border, the logistics of his trip having been kept top secret in order to prevent Maduro from enforcing the travel ban he imposed on him in late January. "There is nothing crueller than a government that denies and closes the entry of humanitarian aid that his own people need so much. We are with you".


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