Venezuela's humanitarian aid standoff

Venezuela's humanitarian aid standoff

Venezuela's humanitarian aid standoff

Yet, all these wrongdoings combined can not entitle his opponent Juan Guaido, the speaker of parliament, to declare himself as the interim president.

This is the first aid to arrive and would only last for a short time, but officials said it would benefit thousands of people unable to get hold of basic medicine and food inside Venezuela.

The focus of Venezuela's political fight now hinges on whether Maduro will allow the aid to enter the country, a move anticipated in coming days.

Huizenga said Friday that the committee has asked to send a mission to Venezuela, and has seen informal signs that this might be agreed.

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.

But despite being forced further underground, he said he was "elated" by the recent turn of events in Venezuela after the Trump administration officially recognized Juan Guaido, who proclaimed himself the country's interim leader after becoming president of the National Assembly.

He has called for another street protest on Tuesday to keep up the pressure on Maduro, who is backed by China, Russia, Turkey and leftist regional allies Cuba and Bolivia.

The nation is "not suffering the humanitarian crisis fabricated by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country", Maduro added.

He blamed shortages of food and medicine on USA sanctions, which mostly target regime individuals as well as state oil company PDVSA.

"We do not beg from anyone", Mr Maduro said. People across the country have even begun to refer to their lack of food as the "Maduro diet", and have confronted him about it in public.

Venezuelan volunteers, Colombian firefighters and rescue workers prepare USAID humanitarian aid for storage at a warehouse next to the Tienditas International Bridge, near Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 8, 2019.

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. The world watches now whether Maduro's government will let the first shipments from United States cross its borders. He argues Maduro was re-elected a year ago in a sham election.

It would be not only folly but also a stark repudiation of global norms for foreign countries to "elect" the leader of any country, no matter how grave are the charges against the incumbent leader. Maduro said while he disagreed with the group, he is open to negotiations.

Maduro, who last weekend rejected an European Union ultimatum to organise snap presidential elections, fumed: "You don't listen to the truth in Venezuela".

"While I cannot name names because visa information is protected, I can state that we will continue to take action against those destroying Venezuela's democratic institutions", he said.

It also told the socialist leader to "restore full democracy, the rule of law, the separation of powers and respect for the constitutional mandate of the country's institutions, particularly the democratically elected National Assembly".

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