Venezuela's Maduro vows to block 'fake' aid 'spectacle'

Frederick Owens
February 9, 2019

The US, Canada, numerous Latin American countries and the major European powers all consider Maduro's May 2018 re-election victory to be tainted by fraud and have recognised Guaido, the speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, as Interim President.

Emergency medical kits that contain life-saving medical supplies and pharmaceuticals, each of which could serve a population of 10,000 in hospitals and community health centers for 90 days. The first shipment includes food kits for 5,000 Venezuelans and high-protein nutritional supplements that can treat an estimated 6,700 young children with moderate malnutrition.

"Venezuela will not allow the show of... humanitarian aid because we do not beg from anyone", he told reporters. Some Maduro critics say the Venezuelan people would welcome a US led regional effort to force the entrenched leader from power.

The United States is rapidly increasing assistance efforts to support our Hemispheric partners and people inside of Venezuela.

The 56-year-old said Venezuela's humanitarian crisis has been "fabricated by Washington" to justify an "intervention" in the South American country.

When asked how US aid might make it into Venezuela, a spokesman for the US Agency for International Development said the United States was working with Guaido on a plan, but did not disclose any details.

Trump last week issued sweeping sanctions against state oil company PDVSA, froze profits generated by refining subsidiary Citgo, and has vowed to starve Maduro's government of all revenue.

Maduro also welcomed a meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo on Thursday saying: "We are ready and prepared to participate in a process of sovereign, constitutional dialogue".

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On Friday, Guaido urged his supporters to stay in the streets and protest until the "usurper" Maduro lets the convoy with US-sent aid, which is now sitting in a warehouse at the Colombian border, cross into Venezuela.

Guaido, who has appealed to the military to back him, said the armed forces "have a dilemma: either they side with the people in need or with the dictatorship".

In a statement, it called them "sycophants" and accused them of submitting to a U.S. "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government".

Maduro said in a press conference in Caracas on Friday that the aid should be given out to Colombians because "Venezuelans are not beggars".

"If the White House's goal is regime change in Venezuela, which appears to be the case, then they should be concerned that their actions are generating a backlash against the Venezuela and in the region", said Main. On Friday, Romania's president became the latest world leader to recognize Guaido as interim president nearly a week after other European Union countries did so.

Guaido's representative in Cucuta, Lester Toledo, said the provisions already delivered were the "first drops" and promised "a tsunami of humanitarian aid" would follow.

The opposition, however, rejects any talks with Maduro, while officials in Washington claimed that the time for negotiations has long passed.

However, she added that "China supports the efforts by the global community to this end and hopes that all sides will continue to play a constructive role in the peaceful resolution of the Venezuela issue".

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