European Union lawmakers invited by Guaido barred from entering Venezuela

19 February, 2019, 00:26 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • U.S. Senator Marco Rubio greets a child as Francisco Santos the Colombian ambassador to the U.S. looks on during his visit to the Colombia Venezuela border at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge on the outskirts of Cucuta Colombia

The Republican Senator also warned Maduro against harming USA personnel working in the country and said the United States would also respond if aide workers were targeted.

Meanwhile, three USA military transport planes loaded with humanitarian aid for Venezuela landed in Cucuta, Colombia on Saturday, adding to the tons food and medicine waiting to cross the border.

Opposition activists have vowed to bring in food and aid provided in part by the United States via neighboring countries on Saturday, despite President Nicolas Maduro's refusal to accept assistance.

The incident on Sunday is the latest point of tension between the worldwide community and Mr Maduro, who is in the grip of a power struggle with Mr Guaido, the head of the National Assembly who proclaimed himself interim president last month.

"The narcoterrorist tyranny of Nicolas Maduro continues to block critical humanitarian relief for those who continue to suffer under his regime", the Florida Republican said, adding that the U.S. stands by the Venezuelan people in their fight for "democracy and freedom".

Mr Guaido has been recognised as the legitimate head of state by most Western countries and many of Venezuela's neighbours.

He did not explicitly say the food would be distributed in Cucuta.


Yorger Maita, a helper from the aid group Rescate Venezuela, said that if foreign aid doesn't enter "other people will continue to die".

Maduro says the aid is a "publicity show" and a pretext for a US-led invasion. Those who remain have been punished by hyperinflation that has put scarce food and medicine out of reach for many.

"Venezuela is preparing for the humanitarian avalanche", Mr Guaido told about 4,000 supporters clad in white T-shirts and green scarves who gathered Saturday to sign up as volunteers.

Speaking in Spanish, Rubio warned that blocking the entry of USA food would amount to a "crime against humanity" and those responsible would spend "the rest of their lives hiding from justice".

Maduro is now refusing to allow in the food, medicine and other supplies.

Guaido said thousands of Venezuelans have volunteered to meet on February 23 to escort the aid through barricades constructed on an unused bridge that connects the two nations.

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