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Maduro shuts Venezuela’s border with Brazil amid aid standoff

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President Nicolas Maduro has ordered the closure of Venezuela’s border with Brazil “until further notice” amid a tense standoff with the US-backed opposition leader, Juan Guaido, over allowing in humanitarian aid.
The border with Brazil would be “completely and absolutely” closed from 8pm (00:00 GMT) onwards, Maduro said in a televised address on Thursday.
The embattled leader said he was also considering a “total closure of the border with Colombia”, where he has already ordered the military to barricade a major border bridge to prevent aid from entering the country from the Colombian border town of Cucuta where supplies are being stockpiled, most of it from the United States.
Calling the aid a “provocation” and a “child’s game”, Maduro suggested it was a precursor to a US military intervention in the oil-rich, but economically crippled the Latin American country.
“[The US] aimed to generate a huge national mess, but they didn’t succeed. The country wants peace,” he said, surrounded by members of the military.
Venezuela has already closed its maritime border with the Dutch Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire, after Curacao’s government said it would help store aid.
In a decree, the Venezuelan military also said it was banning vessels from sailing out of Venezuela’s ports until Sunday to avoid actions by “criminal” groups.
Despite Maduro’s announcement, the Brazilian government said it will go ahead with the airlifting of aid, and stockpile nonperishable food and medicine in the border town of Pacaraima.
Hamilton Mourao, Brazil’s vice president, told Al Jazeera Brazilian officials will not “trespass the border”.
“We can put supplies on the border and if the Venezuelans want it, they can come and get it,” he said.
Aljazeera

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The Kabul Times.