By Keryn Nelson
Images of a Venezuelan border blocked by large containers emerged last week. The act was said to be the brainchild of the NicolásMaduro administration, to prevent incoming humanitarian aid currently stored inCúcuta, Columbia.
“We are not beggars,” Maduro said during an address to Venezuela’s military, also insisting that the Bolivarian Republic is under no humanitarian crisis.
However, Opposition leader and self-declared President, JuanGuaidóbelieves otherwise.
The collection point for humanitarian aid was set up in the Columbian city of Cúcutaby the Guaidó-led opposition,to accept incoming goods into the South American country reportedly enduring high levels of inflation. On a pedestrian bridge nearly fifteen minutes away from Cúcuta, almost 30,000 people travel by foot, daily, in search of food and other essentials beyond the Columbian border.
Despite efforts by the Maduro administration and military, Guaidódeclared last Tuesday, February 12, that the humanitarian aid will enter Venezuela on February 23.
“We’re going to have to go in caravans,” Guaidóannounced to opposition supporters at a rally.
His words were directed at the 250,000 civilians who signed up as volunteers.
Further keeping to his claims to presidency, Guaidóis reportedly trying to forge diplomatic relations with China and Russia; two of Maduro’s most powerful allies. In an interview with the Financial Times, he declined to disclose how his team was conversing with the Chinese and Russians.
“We’re sending and receiving communications. That’s all I can say at the moment,” said Guaidó.
A report in the Wall-Street Journal also claimed the Venezuelan opposition had meetings in Washington with Chinese diplomats who aim to protect their country’s outstanding $20bn investment in Venezuela.
65 nations, including the United States, have openly declared their recognition of Guaidóas the president of Venezuela.
Meanwhile, Maduro, who the United Nations still acknowledges as Venezuela’s president, maintains:
“In our country, there is the largest certified oil reserve in the world. And the eyes of those who lead the empire in the United States want to put their hands on it, as they did in Iraq and Libya. That wealth belongs to us… We are a country of great resources, both natural and energetic. This is the truth and this explains the constant attack against Venezuela… Do not let Donald Trump and the group of extremists around him … impose their lies and coup against Venezuela… and support the people of Venezuela in their struggle for democracy.”