The President of Venezuela – Nicolas Maduro has ordered closure of its border with Brazil, stopping foreign aid from entering Venezuela. He is also considering closure of Columbian border, ruling out all the possibilities of any foreign assistance which could come to Venezuela.
In a televised speech, Maduro said, “I don’t want to make such a decision, but I am considering it – an absolute closure of the border with Colombia. We have taken all the measures so that everything can be peaceful.”
Foreign aid getting assembled at Brazil and Columbia
The foreign aids are getting assembled in Brazil and Columbia at the behest of self-declared Interim President of Venezuela – Juan Guaido. The foreign aid sent by the United States (U.S.) includes food and medicine for the people of Venezuela. The foreign Ministry of Venezuela has said that European nations are acting on behalf of U.S., to ensure the fall of Maduro.
Speaking on U.S.’s intervention in Venezuela, Maduro said, “Is Trump the commander in chief of the Venezuelan armed forces? The answer is obvious. And the answer to imperialism is also obvious. We just want peace and tranquillity.”
Guaido’s deadline of February 23, 2019
Guaido has put a deadline of Saturday, February 23, 2019 for foreign aids to enter Venezuela. Taking necessary steps, Venezuela has already shut down its air and sea borders with Curaco – the 3rd collection point for foreign aid, as stated by Guaido. Besides, the islands of Aruba and Bonaire have also been closed. Venezuela has also banned vessels from sailing out of Venezuela’s Ports until Sunday, February 24, 2019.
The Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard, one of the National Armed Forces of Venezuela, has also blocked the access of La Cabrera tunnel, after a convoy of buses carrying the supporters of Guaido tried to pass through it.
Brazil to send aid despite challenges
However, the Spokesperson for the President of Brazil – Otavio Rego Barros has said that despite closure of borders, Brazil is going ahead with sending of humanitarian aid via airlifts. He even mentioned that non-perishable food and medicine would be stockpiled at the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima, till Guaido is able to send trucks to collect them.
U.N. and Red Cross refuse to intervene
In the meantime, hundreds of people have taken to streets staging their protest against Maduro and asking for foreign aid to be allowed in Venezuela. The U.N. and the Red Cross have so far refrained from interfering in the matter.
A U.N. Spokesperson – Stephane Dujarric said, “We follow humanitarian principles of where aid should be distributed independent of political, military, or any other objectives.”
Richard Branson organises concert
In the meantime, the Founder of Virgin Group – Richard Branson is organising a concert on Friday, February 22, 2019 at Tienditas Bridge crossing, on the Colombian border at Cucuta, to raise funds for the people of Venezuela.
What conspired this?
Maduro, who is serving his 2nd term, has been condemned by the people of Venezuela for shortages of basic items such as medicine and food. According to the National Assembly, the annual inflation rate reached 1,300,000% in the 12 months to November 2018. Raising his voice against Maduro, Juan Guaido, took an oath on January 23, 2019, swearing himself as the Interim President.
Guaido was immediately recognised as the Interim president of Venezuela by the President of U.S. – Donald Trump. He was also recognized by France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Britain and Spain. However, Russia, Turkey, Cuba and Bolivia are supporting Maduro.