U.S. military planes land near Venezuela border with aid
U.S. military planes land near Venezuela border with aid
Sen. Rubio, Rep. Diaz-Balart visit Venezuela-Colombia border
18 February, 2019, 19:51
Standing near a pedestrian bridge on the border between the two countries as hundreds of anti-Maduro protesters chanted and waved flags, Rubio said the United States and the world would not abandon Venezuelans.
Maduro is using troops to block the aid from entering, saying it is not needed and is part of a USA -orchestrated attempt to overthrow him.
While Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is refusing to allow in the food, medicine and other supplies, opposition leader and self-declared president Juan Guaido has vowed to move hundreds of tonnes of the aid into the country on Feb 23.
Rubio warned Venezuelan soldiers that blocking aid would be an global "crime against humanity".
Rubio told a cheering crowd that Venezuelan soldiers who block aid would spend "the rest of their lives hiding from justice".
While Trump has refused to rule out a USA military intervention in Venezuela, Congressman Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said during a congressional hearing last week that lawmakers would not support such a move.
Pompeo said Maduro's request wasn't new, but it reflected the embattled leader's realization that his crisis-riddled nation rejects his "model of governance".
Maduro, who has the backing of Russian Federation and China, won a second term in an election last years that critics denounced as a sham.
He said Venezuelans "are being denied medicine, food and aid needed to live while those people who are at the head of that regime are living like multimillionaires".
Citing "official diplomatic channels", Maduro's foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, wrote on Twitter that the MEP group had been warned in days prior that an attempt to visit Venezuela "with conspiratorial aims" would result in barred entry and called on them to avoid the "provocation".
The incident on Sunday is the latest point of tension between the global community and Mr Maduro, who is in the grip of a power struggle with Mr Guaido, the head of the National Assembly who proclaimed himself interim president last month.
Trump will also say Venezuela should not be "a puppet state" of Cuba and that a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela will help promote democracy in Nicaragua and Cuba.
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