Published: Tue, February 19, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Marco Rubio warns Venezuelan soldiers to let aid enter

Marco Rubio warns Venezuelan soldiers to let aid enter

The Florida Republican made a stop in Cucuta on Sunday, where us aid packages were being stockpiled for distribution by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized by the USA and dozens of other countries as Venezuela's legitimate president.

As the monthslong political crisis continues, Trump is to make a public case to Venezuela's military, which could play a decisive role in the stalemate, to support Guaido's government. "We seek a peaceful transition of power but all options are open", he warned.

Talking points distributed by the White House ahead of the speech emphasized a stark message to Venezuelan security forces who have not put themselves under the control of Venezuelan National Assembly leader Juan Guaido.

He was quickly recognized by the United States, Canada, Colombia and Germany as Venezuela's president.

"They are risking their future, they are risking their lives and Venezuela's future for a man controlled by the Cuban military and protected by a private army of Cuban soldiers", Trump said of Venezuelan military officials who back Maduro. "You will lose everything".

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on his Twitter account that the lawmakers had been advised several days ago that they would not be allowed entry into the South American country. Through the months-long crisis, the military has largely remained loyal to Maduro.

Mr Maduro has dismissed the humanitarian assistance as "crumbs" and "rotten and contaminated food" while blaming shortages of food and medicine on USA sanctions.

The development follows Venezuelan self-proclaimed president Guaido warning the country's military not to block humanitarian aid from entering Venezuela. He added: "This will never happen to us".

The president is to deliver remarks at Florida International University in Miami.

"They have retained our passports, they haven't communicated the reason for our expulsion", Esteban González Pons said.

Maduro, who has the backing of Russian Federation and China, won a second term in an election last years that critics denounced as a sham.

The Trump administration showed Venezuela's state-owned oil giant, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, a path to escape U.S. sanctions on Friday when the U.S. Treasury said it would "consider lifting sanctions" on those who take concrete steps to "restore democratic order" in the country.

President Donald Trump will demand that Nicolas Maduro leave power during a speech in Miami directed at two audiences: the generals keeping Venezuela's authoritarian leader in office, and the tens of thousands of Venezuelan expatriates who may be key to the president winning Florida in 2020.

Sen. Marco Rubio: "The only military intervention that exists today in Venezuela is a Cuban intervention. Set your country free".

Earlier the White House said Trump would use the speech to warn of 'the dangers of socialism'.

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