United States military ready to 'protect' diplomats in Venezuela - admiral

Sunday, 10 Feb, 2019

Former Venezuelan diplomat Isaias Medina, who broke with President Nicolas Maduro in July 2017, says he strongly supports the courage of opposition leader Juan Guaido and wants the Trump administration to keep the military option on the table.

Two US trucks carrying food and medical supplies arrived at Venezuela's border this afternoon, according to a US official in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

High protein energy supplements were also included for young Venezuelan children suffering from malnutrition.

The U.S. has revoked visas for members of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly amid an ongoing push to ramp up pressure on Caracas, the special envoy for Venezuela said Thursday.

CARACAS, Feb 8 - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday the us -backed humanitarian aid being stockpiled in the Colombian border city of Cucuta for his country should be distributed to poor Colombians as Venezuelans are not "beggars".

Venezuela is in the midst of an economic and political crisis as Maduro, who was reelected to a second in May 2018, attempts to maintain power.

However "controversial" such a move might be, the self-proclaimed US-backed "interim" president of Venezuela has claimed he would not rule out the possibility of "authorizing" a foreign military intervention to topple Maduro.

The United States bends the definition of "humanitarian aid" to advance its political interests in Venezuela.

But the aid blockade could lead to troops disobeying Maduro's orders and allowing the much-needed aid to pass.

The 35-year-old argues Maduro was re-elected last year in a sham vote and the country must hold new presidential elections.

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

Opposition leader Jose Manuel Olivares, who is in Cucuta helping coordinate the aid mission, said the idea floated by Toledo to use a mass mobilization of people to get the aid across the border is one of the strategies being considered.

The 56-year-old said Venezuela's humanitarian crisis has been "fabricated by Washington" to justify an "intervention" in the South American country. Venezuela owes more than $20 billion.

While humanitarian aid tries to comes in, the USA special envoy to Venezuela - Elliot Abrams - is saying Nicolas Maduro should get out.

During a presentation of the group's annual financial results, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne said: "The accounts have been blocked in light of the USA decisions".

Humanitarian organizations have warned that attempting to force the aid into the country would be unsafe, and a top USA official on Thursday said Washington did not plan to do so.

Several other countries - including Russian Federation and Turkey - are backing Maduro as the legitimately elected president, and have denounced Washington's actions as attempts to foment a coup.

Omaria Perez, 44, was at the entrance of the Tienditas bridge early on Friday morning, writing messages on placards. "We have recently revealed a conspiracy to stage a coup, funded and supported from Colombia", he noted.

"The people of the United States should know that this complex, multi-form aggression is being carried out with total impunity and in flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter, which expressly forbids the threat or use of force, among other principles and resolutions in the pursuit of peace and relations of friendship amongst nations", he added. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Jose Mendoza, 22, held up the poster that Perez had made earlier, which stated, "in the name of God, we declare peace and freedom for our handsome Venezuela".