Wednesday, 19 June, 2019


The Debate - Venezuela's next battleground: Maduro rejects humanitarian aid convoys

The Debate - Venezuela's next battleground: Maduro rejects humanitarian aid convoys The Debate - Venezuela's next battleground: Maduro rejects humanitarian aid convoys
Conrad Doyle | 06 February, 2019, 07:53

But the Pope has said that, although he was deeply concerned by the humanitarian suffering, he was not in a position to mediate. One official said more supplies would be staged in Brazil and in the Caribbean.

Mr Guaido, who leads the National Assembly, declared himself caretaker leader last month in a move splitting global powers and bringing Venezuelans onto the streets.

The U.S. officials said trucks carrying the aid, including high-protein foods, would arrive in Cucuta this week at the request of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month declared himself to be the South American nation's interim president. Guaido urged Uruguay to prevent the move.

At present the U.S. has mobilised food supplies, while Germany has earmarked 5 million euros ($7.9 million) in aid and Spain has announced a humanitarian plan with the European Union and UN.

The pope, speaking to reporters aboard his plane while returning from a trip to Abu Dhabi, confirmed that Maduro had written a letter to him but said he had not yet read it.

Immediately, the United States was the first to recognise Guaido as the President and also promised humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

But the United Nations has declined to take sides in the crisis in Venezuela.

With nearly no information about how aid will be distributed, the Cucuta crossing from Venezuela appeared to be quiet on Tuesday.

However Russia, China and Turkey continue to back Maduro, accusing Western nations of meddling.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland branded the Maduro government a dictatorship that has shown an inexcusable disregard for the rule of law and human rights. It also called on Venezuela's military to give their loyalty to the interim president. "We are not beggars".

Some EU countries hoped to go further than a joint statement on Venezuela agreed ten days ago declaring Maduro's re-election illegitimate and warning of "further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country's leadership" if new elections are not called soon.

The top Japanese government spokesman also said, "It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government held an inauguration ceremony for its president without fulfilling its accountability (to the people)", swearing in Maduro for his second term last month after an election in May a year ago.

Maduro has been called on to resign and let the country hold a new presidential election as his government has sidelined the National Assembly, held widely questioned elections, and overseen an economic crisis that has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee, mostly to other South American countries. Jon Snow is joined by the Labour MP Chris Williamson, who like Jeremy Corbyn, has supported the Chavez and Maduro governments in Venezuela.

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