THE SPAT over the acceptance of international aid into Venezuela is destined to hot up between embattled President Nicolas Maduro and self-appointed interim president Juan Guaido.
This comes Maduro said he is considering to close the Colombian border of Venezuela. That came as reports said there was an opposition convoy, led by Guaido, to the border to ensure international aid enters the country.
In a bid to mitigate the scarcity of food and medicine supplies in the country, Guaido left from Caracas, the capital city, for the Colombian border along with 80 lawmakers despite Maduro’s promise to block the entry of international aid.
Maduro also vowed to close Venezuela’s border with Brazil on the same day, after the Brazilian government said it will also be sending supplies to the country.
Guaido had previously said the humanitarian aid provided by the international community will start entering Venezuela from February 23.
Maduro has staunchly criticized the help, calling it a US-orchestrated charade to oust his socialist government.
The troops will be installed at points of entry to fend off any “territorial violations,” the government declared, signaling a showdown with the opposition currently heading to the border.
US military aircrafts have been ferrying food and medicine to the Colombian border, in an attempt to aid Venezuelan children who are reportedly suffering from malnutrition.
“Two days ago the first US Air Force C-17 landed in Colombia loaded with crucial assistance, including thousands of nutrition kits for Venezuelan children,” a CNN report quoted US President Donald Trump on Monday.
Trump went on: “Unfortunately dictator Maduro has blocked this life-saving aid from entering the country. He would rather see his people starve than give them aid.”
Trump called Maduro a “Cuban puppet,” and called on the Venezuelan military to defect from his ranks, claiming Maduro is not a patriot.
Seeking to ramp up pressure on Maduro’s socialist government, Washington announced sanctions in January, and urged the international community to pick a side between the parties of the ensuing crisis.
The US and dozens of other countries last month recognized Guaido as the legitimate interim president, while Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey are stubbornly maintaining their support for the under-pressure Maduro.
Two groundbreaking reports that emerged recently, however, could signal a serious turn of the tide in Venezuela, as they signal a probable pulling out of Russia and China, who have been spearheading the endorsement to the Maduro, from the ranks of the beleaguered administration.
A Reuters news report on Sunday alleged a Russian stock, Gazprombank, has decided to suspend accounts held by PDVSA, the Venezuelan state-run oil company, they were also going to stop transactions with the company as a way to avoid falling under US sanctions.
This allegation came following another news report last week by the Wall Street Journal that claimed a meeting between Chinese officials and Venezuelan envoys of Guaido.
Although the first report was dismissed by PDVSA and the latter by Chinese officials, these allegations might signal ground losses for Maduro.