World

US aid arrives at Colombia border despite Maduro rejection

Trucks carrying food and medical supplies from the United States have arrived in Cucuta, on the Colombia-Venezuela border, stoking tensions with the government of President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas.
The arrival of the aid convoy on Thursday, which was organised jointly by the US and Venezuelan opposition leaders, came a day after Venezuela barricaded its own side of the border vowing not to allow entry.
“We are not beggars,” Maduro told the military earlier this week, rejecting the move as a ploy to humiliate Venezuela.
Amid uncertainty over the convoy’s fate, demonstrators at the Tienditas bridge entrance welcomed the trucks by blowing horns and calling for a change in crisis-hit Venezuela. Among a media scrum, some shouted, “Maduro out now”.
Members of the Venezuelan opposition have also converged in Cucuta to help plan and execute the delivery of the aid, in a calculated move seen as a test of the Venezuelan military’s loyalty to Maduro.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, the self-proclaimed interim president who has earned recognition from the US and a number of other countries, requested international assistance saying it was essential in a country that has been ravaged by shortages of basic food and medicine.
Maduro, who is backed by countries such as China, Russia and Turkey, has repeatedly denied a humanitarian crisis exists in Venezuela.
Venezuela’s socialist economic system has been severely hit following the collapse of world oil prices in 2014. Inflation has skyrocketed, and since 2016, more than three million Venezuelans have fled to neighbouring countries amid a shortage of food and medicine in the country.
Aljazeera

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