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

Trump ramps up pressure on Venezuela’s Maduro in speech

Trump ramps up pressure on Venezuela’s Maduro in speech

A second wave of USA aid landed at the Colombian-Venezuelan border in an effort to deliver supplies to Caracas amid the country's ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, this time using USA military aircraft to pressure Nicolas Maduro to give up power, according to a leaked State Department email to Congress.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said earlier Monday that the US "knows where military officials and their families have money hidden throughout the world".

Guaido's announcement came as tons of U.S. food aid was piling up along the border with Colombia, in the latest flashpoint in the country's building political crisis.

President Donald Trump on Monday urged Venezuelan military officials to back the country's self-declared interim president Juan Guaido and allow humanitarian aid to flow into Venezuela.

In lieu of Guaido's humanitarian push, Maduro has asked the military to reinforce the border and denounced the aid as a "booby trap" and a cover for a planned USA military invasion.

Cucuta, swollen by a flood of migrants from Venezuela, is a collection point for aid that's supposed to be distributed by supporters of Guaido.

The aid "will come in, yes oh yes, by land and sea", Mr Guaido said.

The once wealthy country is also suffering from a grave economic crisis that has left millions in poverty and facing shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine. "As soon as this weekend we will continue to deliver massive humanitarian assistance".

Wood said Maduro's government would go to any length to lie and deny reality.

The aid convoy dispatched by the United States and Colombia arrived in Cucuta last week, where it is being held in warehouses.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has set a goal of enlisting a million volunteers within a week to confront a government blockade that has kept tonnes of humanitarian aid, most of it from the United States, from flowing into the country.

Trump said the "profoundly grateful" to dissidents and exiles who have protested and raised alarms about the actions of the Maduro government.

But Maduro, who won a second term past year in an election that critics denounced as a sham, retains the backing of Russian Federation and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions, including the security services.

Guaido, president of the National Assembly, has called for a worldwide march on February 23 that would pave the way for humanitarian aid to enter the country.

Pence said that after the United States became the first nation to recognise the parliamentary leader as head of state, "52 nations including 30 of our European allies have followed America's lead".

Maduro retains the backing of Russian Federation and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions including the military. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

Critics of the Trump administration's push for regime change in Caracas have also pointed out that Elliott Abrams - the State Department's recently appointed special envoy for Venezuela - ordered the delivery of weapons to US-backed rebels in Nicaragua under the guise of "humanitarian aid" back in 1986.

On Friday the US Treasury announced that it was imposing sanctions on five intelligence and security officials close to Maduro.

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