Several countries have announced that they will be joining the efforts to send humanitarian aid to Venezuela. Many of those countries have announced that they will do so in the next few days but Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the path, sparking criticism and a demand from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Just a few hours ago, pictures and videos from several news agencies around the world began showing that the path to Venezuela had been completely blocked. The bridge connecting Venezuela and Colombia has been blocked on all three ways by two shipping containers and an oil tanker.
Former president Nicolas Maduro has rejected the idea of bringing humanitarian aid. Other officials from the party have said that the amount of aid is low. The humanitarian aid has been discussed for a while but Maduro and officials have rejected the idea on several occasions. The humanitarian aid has been organized once again, this time with Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s Interim President.
Juan Guaido announced on January 23 that he would step in as interim president. Shortly after the ceremony, the opposition and many countries began organizing the humanitarian aid.
The shipping containers and oil tanker were placed on the bridge just days before the humanitarian aid is set to arrive to Venezuela. Opposition member Franklyn Duarte told the AFP news agency that the Venezuelan military had brought the truck and containers to block the access. The shipping containers and oil tanker were placed on the Tienditas bridge, which connects Cucuta to Urena.
Opposition members have asked the military to allow trucks to enter the country. Mike Pompeo posted a tweet earlier today saying that the South American nation is in desperate need of humanitarian aid. He adds that the US and other countries are trying to help but that the country’s military is blocking the aid.
Maduro has said that the aid would be the start of a US military intervention. In several occasions, the opposition has tried to bring humanitarian aid but the efforts have been difficult with the government refusing to collaborate.
The aid has instead ended up in neighboring countries, where millions have fled to in recent years. Many PSUV officials have denied that there is a humanitarian crisis in the country. One official has even suggested that it is all staged.
Juan Guaido is recognized as Venezuela’s Interim President by over 40 countries. The plan is to have elections in the next few weeks but Maduro and other officials have ruled out the idea.
Maduro won a presidential election last year but the numbers remain in doubt since most of the opposition boycotted and the company behind the voting machines revealed that the numbers had been boosted by at least one million.
Maduro was sworn in for a second term last month but many countries had already announced that he would not be recognized as president. The US recently announced sanctions against state oil company PDVSA, freezing assets in the US as well as money that was going to the country for oil sales.