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Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid

12 February 2019
Venezuela's Guaido warns military on blocked aid

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, recognized by some 50 countries as Venezuela's interim president, warned the military on February 10 that blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country is a "crime against humanity".

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since January 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

A stockpile of USA aid - medicines, medical equipment and nutritional supplements - is in the Colombian border city of Cucuta.

A man holds a banner that reads "Thank you worldwide community" near a warehouse where humanitarian aid for Venezuela is being stored near the Tienditas cross-border bridge between Colombia and Venezuela in Cucuta, Colombia, February 8, 2019. "This is a crime against humanity, men of the armed forces", Juan Guaido said. They have not yet announced how they plan for the aid to enter if the military does not consent.

The doctors protested on the Colombia side of the border, saying they would face repercussions for holding a similar demonstration on the Venezuelan side.

Last week, the Venezuelan opposition announced its plans to hold an worldwide conference in Washington on 14 February in a bid to attract humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

Speaking to AFP Friday, Guaido vowed to do "whatever necessary" to "stop the usurpation" of power and "save lives" - without ruling out the possibility of authorizing foreign intervention.

Suffering the worst crisis of its modern history, Venezuelans have had to grapple with life-threatening scarcities amid eye-popping levels of hyperinflation that have rendered salaries and savings worthless. The European Union has encouraged member countries to recognize a new temporary government led by Guaido until new elections can be held.

The report follows statements from the opposition-whose leader and President of the National Assembly declared himself interim president last month-that a special fund will be set up in the United States where proceeds from the sale of Venezuelan crude would go.