Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Venezuela aid trucks arrive in Colombia as European Union calls for dialogue

The containers were positioned across the road ahead of an anticipated humanitarian aid shipment The containers were positioned across the road ahead of an anticipated humanitarian aid
Patty Aguilar | 08 February, 2019, 23:25

"Instead of trying to accommodate Maduro through contact groups or dialogue, we urge countries to recognize Juan Guaido as interim president and join us in responding to his call for immediate worldwide humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of the Venezuelan people", Abrams said.

Elliot Abrams, the new United States envoy on the Venezuelan crisis, said that Washington was revoking the visas of an unspecified number of members of the Constituent Assembly.

The possible use of US military force to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raises concerns about the possible costs in lives and unintended consequences that may come from committing American troops to fight and die in another foreign conflict.

However military intervention opponents point out the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela does not pose a direct security threat to the United States.

Venezuela's economy is near collapse, with critical shortages of food and medicine growing by the day, but with the country having already laboured for years under sanctions, it's an open question whether more pressure can do much to convince Maduro to go.

On Thursday, he appeared in an event at the presidential palace as part of a campaign by government supporters demanding an end to US aggression against Venezuela.

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"And who do you think you are?" But the administration has stopped short of imposing so-called "secondary" sanctions, which would punish non-U.S. companies for doing business with the Venezuela government or the state oil monopoly PDVSA.

Their organization, the International Contact Group on Venezuela, issued a statement saying they would send a technical mission to the country to help provide humanitarian aid and support new elections as soon as possible.

Guaido says the emergency shipment is a "test" for Venezuela's armed forces, which will have to choose if they allow the much needed aid to pass, or if they instead obey orders.

Maduro has rejected the aid convoy as a "political show" and vowed to remain in office despite dozens of nations around the world disavowing his leadership and recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country's rightful head of state. "Venezuela keeps going!" Maduro said at a recent pro-government rally.

He said the supplies would be delivered to Venezuelans when it was "logistically safe" to do so.

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