The embattled President of Venezuela – Nicolas Maduro has blocked the bridge which connects Venezuela to Columbia, blocking passage of any kind of humanitarian aid arranged by the Interim President – Juan Guaido.
A fuel tanker and 2 shipping containers have been placed to block access to the Tienditas International Bridge, which connects the 2 countries. Members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard, one of the National Armed Forces of Venezuela, are guarding the bridge. The bridge is also being monitored through live cameras.
The next big test
A convoy carrying the aid from the United States (U.S.) is set to arrive at the blocked border. The U.S. consignment includes food and medicine. However, Maduro has said that there is no humanitarian and economic crisis in Venezuela and has refused any foreign aid, fearing intervention of foreign militaries. In the meantime, Guaido is setting-up collection centres in neighbouring countries.
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry has condemned all sorts of international support for Guaido, suggesting that European nations are acting on behalf of U.S., to ensure the fall of Maduro.
Guaido has termed the situation as “an emergency, a crisis.” He even requested the Bolivarian National Guard to allow the foreign aid to enter Venezuela. Addressing them, he said, “Brother, let the aid in. Do not stop it. The end of the usurpation will be the end of hunger.”.
The President of United States (U.S.) – Donald Trump, has said during his State of the Union Speech, “We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom.”
The U.S. Secretary of State – Mike Pompeo tweeted, “The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The U.S. & other countries are trying to help, but #Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE.”
Guaido accuses Maduro of transferring funds to Uruguay
Guaido has also claimed that Maduro Government is transferring U.S $ 1.2 billion from State Development Bank to a financial entity in Uruguay. Although no proof has been given to substantiate the accusation.
Support from Lima Group
Recently Canada hosted a meeting of the Lima Group where they discussed how the international community can help the people of Venezuela. The Prime Minister of Canada – Justin Trudeau even announced a financial aid of 53 million Canadian dollars to Venezuela.
The German Foreign Affairs Minister – Heiko Maas said Germany would provide a financial assistance of U.S. $ 5.72 million to Venezuela.
(Lima Group is a multilateral body that was established on August 8, 2017, where representatives of 12 countries met in order to establish a peaceful exit to the crisis in Venezuela)
UN approached by opposition’s supporters
The United Nations (U.N.) Secretary General – Antonio Guterres has said that U.N. has been approached by supporters of Guaido to join them in the ongoing Venezuela crisis. But the U.N. has decided to not to be a part of it. The Presidents of Mexico and Uruguay have also offered help to strike a deal between maduro and Guaido, which Guaido rejected.
Who is supporting Whom?
While France, Germany, Austria, Sweden and Denmark have joined Britain and Spain recognizing Guaido as the new leader of Venezuela, Russia has condemned the European Nations and the U.S, for interfering in Venezuela. Turkey, Cuba and Bolivia are supporting Maduro.
What is the whole crisis?
Maduro, serving his 2nd term, has been condemned 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.
In the meantime, Juan Guaido, took an oath on January 23, 2019, swearing himself as the Interim President. The constitution of Venezuela says that if the Presidency is determined to be vacant, new elections should be called within a span of 30 days and the Head of the Congress should assume the Presidency in the meantime.