Standoff Between Maduro and Guaidó over Venezuela Aid
A convoy of trucks containing humanitarian aid for Venezuela was stopped on Thursday afternoon in Cucuta, a Colombian city on the border with Venezuela.
The Venezuelan military, controlled by President Nicolás Maduro, is blocking the Tienditas Bridge that spans the border. Maduro has rejected the aid, which contains food and medicine provided by the United States, stating “Venezuela is not suffering the humanitarian crisis fabricated by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country.”
Maduro has also referred to the aid as a humiliation for the Venezuelan people, insisting that it portrays Venezuelan citizens as beggars. He has suggested the aid should instead be distributed to impoverished Colombians.
Despite refusals from Maduro to allow aid to enter the country, Venezuela’s self-declared interim president and opposition leader Juan Guaidó has vowed that aid will enter the country, with other leaders pleading for the aid to be allowed in.
The interim president, who is recognized by over 40 nations including the US, Canada, and member-states of the European Union, has called for an international coalition to pressure the military into allowing the aid to pass through. Guaidó and the opposition have also called for aid centers to be organized in neighboring countries with Venezuelan refugees.
Maduro, whose controversial election to a second term in January sparked a constitutional crisis in Venezuela, has become internationally isolated as the US, the EU, and neighboring Latin American countries have recognized Guaidó as the legitimate interim president. Maduro still enjoys the support of China, Russia, Turkey and the Venezuelan military.