Military blocks humanitarian aid shipment | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, February 07, 2019

VENEZUELA CRISIS

Military blocks humanitarian aid shipment

Venezuelan military officers blocked a bridge on the border with Colombia ahead of an anticipated humanitarian aid shipment, as opposition leader Juan Guaido stepped up his challenge to President Nicolas Maduro's authority.

Earlier Tuesday the opposition-dominated National Assembly had warned the armed forces, which make up much of Maduro's power base, not to cross a "red line" by blocking aid.

Guaido, who proclaimed himself acting president on January 23 -- sparking an international crisis -- claims that up to 300,000 people face death if the aid is not delivered.

"You know there's a red line, you know well there's a limit, you know that medicines, food and medical supplies are that limit," lawmaker Miguel Pizarro said in a message to the military.

Maduro, though, said humanitarian aid would be the forerunner of a US-led invasion, insisting that "no one will enter, not one invading soldier."

Venezuelan military officers used a tanker truck and huge shipping container to block access to the Tienditas bridge, which links Cucuta, Colombia to Urena, Venezuela.

The aid delivery was being coordinated by Guaido, who has declared himself interim president of the oil-rich country and now enjoys the backing of some 40 countries as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

Maduro, 56, has repeatedly accused the United States of fomenting a coup.

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