Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Russian Federation backs talks between Venezuela's Maduro and opposition

Foreign Ministers of the Lima Group gather for a meeting concerning Venezuela in Lima Peru Friday Jan. 4 2019 Sputnik Lima Group Meeting Ban Censorship Now Part of Canadian Political Scene
Kelvin Reese | 07 February, 2019, 02:29

One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the aid would be prepositioned at the main Colombian-Venezuelan border crossing at Cucuta.

The tractor trailers were observed on the bridge on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday demanded that Venezuela's military let in US-backed humanitarian aid, which President Nicolas Maduro has alleged is a cover for invasion.

The bridge was blocked a day prior by the Venezuelan National Guard with a fuel tanker, two cargo trailers and makeshift fencing near the border town of Cucuta in Colombia.

US officials told Reuters aid was on its way this week. Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey stood up for Maduro's support.

Many European Union nations and Latin American countries, in addition to the United States, have expressed their support for Guaido, who is the president of the National Assembly, while Russian Federation and China have long backed embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

He says 300,000 people could die of undernourishment and illness if the aid isn't brought in fast.

Their meeting comes amid massive protests in Venezuela aimed at pressing Maduro, the country's socialist leader, to vacate the presidency.

Simon Coveney has said that Ireland will not follow other European Union countries in recognising Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.

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Under Maduro's stewardship, oil-dependent Venezuela has plunged into an economic crisis, suffering from hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine.

Immediately, the United States was the first to recognise Guaido as the President and also promised humanitarian aid to Venezuela.

He said: "We are not beggars".

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Donald Trump reaffirmed U.S. support for Guaido, saying "we stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom".

Political tensions in Venezuela between the ruling socialist party and Washington-backed conservative opposition groups came to a head after Maduro was sworn in to a new term on January 10.

Major European nations including Britain, Germany, France and Spain joined the United States on Monday in recognizing Guaido, while members of a separate regional bloc, the so-called Lima Group, kept the political heat on Maduro.

With Maduro in control of Venezuela's military and all the territory, getting aid in will be hard, said Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, who cautioned against politicizing the assistance.

In a statement, it accused them of submitting to a USA "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government" and singled out Spain, which had previously led mediation efforts, for acting "cowardly".

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