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US trying to spur mutiny in military against Maduro

09 February 2019

Maduro says Venezuela isn't a nation of "beggars", despite the economy spiralling into its worst-ever crisis and three million Venezuelans fleeing overseas over the past five years. According to him, at least 2 million people have signed letter demanding that the United States stop interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs. His press conference in Caracas was twice interrupted by power cuts, which have become common in the capital.

Two US trucks carrying food and medical supplies arrived at Venezuela's border this afternoon, according to a US official in the Colombian border town of Cucuta. Juan Guaidó, who is recognised as president by most South American and western nations, ... But it is not clear when or whether the aid will reach people inside the country.

Juan Caicedo, a spokesperson from Migration Colombia, Colombia's Ministry of Immigration and Immigration Control, said the Venezuelan military put the blockade into place Tuesday afternoon, adding that there are cameras monitoring activity on the bridge.

Earlier, Maduro vowed not to let in "fake humanitarian aid" and claimed Venezuela's crisis has been "fabricated by Washington" to justify intervention.

Offering a counter-point to Washington's hard-line stance, the European Union and a group of Latin American governments that has kept a moderate line on Venezuela called for dialogue and fresh elections.

Opposition leader and parliament speaker Guaido proclaimed himself the only legitimate leader of Venezuela last month, and was immediately backed by Washington and its allies across Latin America and Europe. Maduro has consistently denied that a humanitarian crisis is happening in the country, blaming food and medicine shortages on the USA sanctions, which have mostly targeted individuals and the state-owned oil company. Inflation has skyrocketed, and since 2015, more than three million Venezuelans have fled to neighbouring countries due to scarcity of food, jobs and medicine.

Maduro has refused the aid, disavowing any humanitarian crisis and saying Venezuela is not a country of beggars.

"We are imposing visa restrictions and revoking the visas of members of the illegitimate constituent assembly", he said.

Maduro also repudiated a statement issued by the International Contact Group on Venezuela.

Two dozen nations, including the U.S. and some of Latin America's biggest countries, have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela's interim president, while China and Russian Federation are backing Maduro.

Maduro, who enjoys the support of China and Russian Federation, rebuffed calls to let the aid into the country on Friday, local time, in a dueling news conference in Caracas.

Guaido is trying to force Maduro from power, aiming to set up a transitional government and hold presidential elections.

He said the aid should be given to the poor in the Colombian city of Cucuta, where the supplies are being stockpiled.

The embattled Venezuelan leader dug in further Friday, contending the aid is part of a coup being orchestrated by the USA government. "Humanitarian aid now. United public outcry".

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

US trying to spur mutiny in military against Maduro