Trucks carrying USA humanitarian aid arrive at Venezuela border

09 February, 2019, 05:23 | Author: Regina Silva
  • EPA-EFE  Cristian Hernandez

President Nicolas Maduro has refused foreign aid shipments, saying they would open the way for USA military intervention to depose him. Opposition leader Juan Guaido has been recognized by the U.S. Total's Venezuela operations were previously managed from the US.

France's oil and gas major Total has pulled out all its personnel from Venezuela following the USA sanctions on Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA, which also blocked Total's accounts in the Latin American country, CEO Patrick Pouyanné said on Thursday.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said today the US -backed humanitarian aid being stockpiled in the Colombian border city of Cucuta for his country should be distributed to poor Colombians as Venezuelans are not "beggars". He's managed to rally masses of Venezuelans into the streets to show their support, and he's won backing from almost 50 countries worldwide, including the United States. However, massive crowds have demonstrated against President Nicolas Maduro for a variety of reasons related to the country's political and economic crisis, facilitated in large part by drastic USA sanctions.

Total's website states that it had around 50 people working in Venezuela, where the company is involved in exploration plus production of crude oil and natural gas.

Accompanied by his wife Fabiana Rosales, center right, Venezuela's self proclaimed president Juan Guaido, arrives for a meet with university students at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 9, 2019.

Guaido called Wednesday on the conscience of Venezuela's military - which has so far been loyal to the government - to permit aid into the country from Colombia, which is run by a right-wing government critical of Maduro.

"We do not agree with the content of the document", Maduro said. "Humanitarian aid now. United public outcry". And they worry hawks in the Trump administration may be advocating for military solutions to try to resolve complex diplomatic, economic and political problems.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who requested the global assistance, said it is necessary in a country racked by shortages of basic goods.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at Iglesia Doral Jesus Worship Center on the political crisis in Venezuela on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Doral, Florida.

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However, several countries including Italy and Greece have so far blocked an European Union bid for tougher action against Maduro's socialist regime.

CNN reported Thursday that the Maduro government blocked a bridge on the Colombia-Venezuela border, preventing US -sent humanitarian aid from reaching the country.

Maduro has criticized Trump for threatening the use of military force in his country and said Venezuelans would resist US aggression. Do you think that Venezuela is going to give up and will obey your orders?

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said Germany had earmarked €5 million ($5.72 million) worth of assistance for Venezuela.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton first raised alarm about deploying USA forces to the region when he carried a notepad with a handwritten notation saying "5,000 troops to Colombia" during a news briefing about Venezuela oil sanctions.

As the food and hygiene kits were packed into individual white bags in the city of Cucuta, just across the river from Venezuela, U.S. officials and Venezuelan opposition leaders appealed to the military to the let the aid through.

But a USA military intervention in Venezuela could fracture support from Latin American counties that have been critical of past US interventions in the region and could bolster Maduro's image in Venezuela as a sympathetic and anti-imperialist leader. They squeeze us by the neck and then make us beg for crumbs'.

In the May 2018 presidential elections in Venezuela, Falcon, a former member of Maduro's United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), was the president's number one challenger, taking 1.9 million votes, roughly 21 percent of ballots cast. "And so he is using the threat of a USA intervention to position himself as a victim".

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