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UN Chief Again Offers to Mediate in Venezuela Crisis

13 February, 2019, 03:01 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Juan Guaido who has appointed himself interim president speaks to supporters in the Venezuelan capital Caracas.                     Image DPA  PA Images

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans had protested in the streets nationwide on Tuesday to demand that Maduro allow aid into the country, where food and medicine shortages are rife.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido told a rally of supporters on Tuesday that humanitarian aid would enter the country on February 23, which could cause a clash with President Nicolas Maduro who has refused to let aid supplies into the country. "Because we have to position the aid and also guarantee that once it crosses the border we have organisations from civil society that will distribute the goods", said the delegate, who added that it is expected that the trucks will enter through the border crossing points with Colombia and Brazil.

A stockpile of U.S. aid - medicines, medical equipment and nutritional supplements - is in the Colombian border city of Cucuta.

"It's not help and it's not humanitarian", he said to cheers from roughly 1,000 Maduro supporters, including civilians and soldiers.

"Maduro is unaware of the crisis (.) the deterioration of the quality of life, of public services, the risk of life we have in Venezuela", he said. Maduro was inaugurated to a second term at the beginning of January after elections past year that were boycotted by many Venezuelans and accused of being rampant with voter fraud by many in the worldwide community.

Last week, Lester Toledo, Guaido's representative in the aid mission, suggested it could be moved by masses of people converging on the border to carry the food and medical supplies across.

Although he has wide global support in his bid to oust Maduro, Guaido needs the support of the armed forces.

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Mr Maduro said he would block humanitarian aid into Venezuela as it would justify intervention from the US. To do so, he needs the support of the armed forces.

The US is sparking a war to seize Venezuela, he said, highlighting that "Venezuela is a country that has the capacity to satisfy all the necessities of our people" and that "our people do not to beg from anyone".

Venezuela's self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido gives the thumb up as he gets into a vehicle after a meeting with university students at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, February 8, 2019.

Belandria met with Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo to discuss, among other matters, ways to "send food and medicine to alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people subjected to Maduro's illegitimate regime", the ministry said in a statement. We do not now have any electoral mechanism that works because everything has been tarnished by fraud. Let it come, the convoy of money, it's our money. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Pope Francis has said he would also be prepared to mediate but Guaido has rejected negotiations with Maduro, believing he would use them to buy time.

While keen on papal mediation, Maduro was less impressed last week when a group of European and Latin American ministers called for new presidential elections.



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