United States argues momentum for change in Venezuela is growing despite border violence

United States argues momentum for change in Venezuela is growing despite border violence

A truck loaded with humanitarian aid was set ablaze on Saturday on the Colombia-Venezuela border, an opposition deputy told reporters amid rioting on the Santander bridge crossing. Protesters in the Venezuelan border town of Urena began squaring off with guardsmen early Saturday.

"I don't know that anyone can give a timeline of when the dam might break, said Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society, a Washington-based think tank".

The three presidents will also visit the warehouses of Tienditas, where the alleged "humanitarian aid" for the Venezuelan people is stored and which sectors of the left in the hemisphere consider a farce aimed at generating a later military intervention in Venezuela.

Guaido revealed that he was able to cross over yesterday with the help of the Venezuelan armed forces.

The US-backed opposition's call for a "human avalanche" to force American aid into Venezuela has erupted in violent clashes.

United Nations figures show that some 2.7 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015 amid the crisis, and some 5,000 Venezuelans emigrate from their country each day.

Gonzalez said soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas.

Guaido, recognized by most Western nations as Venezuela's legitimate head of state, defied court orders not to leave the country when he traveled on Friday to Cucuta, where aid from the US and Colombian governments is stockpiled in warehouses.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido takes a selfie with his wife, Fabiana Rosales, right foreground, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, next to him at left, Colombian President Ivan Duque, giving a thumbs-up and Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, right, during the Venezuela Aid Live concert in Cucuta, Colombia on Friday.

A line of heavy trucks packed with aid supplies waited to attempt the crossing, in front of rows of television cameras.




UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged that violence be avoided in Venezuela, according to his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric. Guaido wrote on Twitter Saturday. A Venezuelan police officer and an Chilean photo-journalist were wounded in what eyewitnesses described as an deliberate effort to run down civilians near the barrier. The US says political reforms must follow, while traditional aid groups have shunned the effort as politically tainted.

He blames the country's dire situation on USA sanctions that have blocked the country from obtaining financing and have hobbled the OPEC nation's oil industry.

In Brazil, the first trucks transporting aid were arriving at Pacaraima on the Venezuelan border.

The U.S. government condemned the killings. Given how hard it is to deliver aid in Venezuela under the Maduro regime, which has a long-term policy of refusing foreign aid, only $2.5-million to $2.6-million is actually destined for organizations inside the country.

Emilio Gonzalez, mayor of the Venezuela border town of Gran Sabana, identified the shooting victim as Zoraida Rodriguez, who was a part of an indigenous group that clashed with the Venezuela National Guard and army a day after Maduro ordered the border with Brazil closed.

"We hope there will not be violence around this situation because we have to recognize that there are people in need in Venezuela", Ms. Bibeau said.

"We are here to support humanitarian aid, not politics", Olvera said later adding that he and his bandmates support democracy in Venezuela.

"The concert is an huge help because this type of initiative was necessary to open our eyes and pressure the Venezuelan government", said Wendy Villamizar, a 32-year-old Venezuelan woman wearing a cap with her country's yellow, blue and red tricolor.

"The truth is that not even 10 concerts will make damned Maduro leave office", said Darwin Rendon, one of the 3.4 million Venezuelans to have emigrated since 2015 to find work.

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