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AFP
February 8, 2019

Venezuelan troops block aid shipments

World

AFP
February 8, 2019

CARACAS: Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido warned the army of its responsibilities on Wednesday after soldiers blocked a key border bridge, sparking angry demands from the United States to allow desperately needed humanitarian aid to enter the country.

Venezuela’s army had to choose between "a dictatorship that does not have an iota of humanity, or to side with the constitution" from which he takes his legitimacy, Guaido said in an interview on Colombian radio.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Venezuela’s military was deliberately blocking the aid with trucks and shipping containers "under Maduro’s orders." "The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE," Pompeo said in a tweet.

Guaido claims that up to 300,000 people face death if the aid is not delivered, following years of economic crisis and shortages of basic food and medicines. Tanker trucks and shipping containers were moved into position late Tuesday on the Tienditas bridge, a key crossing point on the border with Colombia.

The 35-year-old National Assembly chief -- who stunned Venezuelans when he proclaimed himself president on January 23 -- is trying to force Maduro from power, set up a transitional government and hold a new presidential polls.

He has claimed legitimacy from the constitution as National Assembly leader, on the grounds that Maduro’s re-election last May, boycotted by most of the opposition, was "illegitimate."

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