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Venezuelans not 'beggars,' give humanitarian aid to Colombians — Maduro

Venezuelans not 'beggars,' give humanitarian aid to Colombians — Maduro”

Trucks carrying US humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela arrived Thursday at the Colombian border, where opposition leaders vowed to bring them into their troubled nation despite objections from embattled President Nicolas Maduro.

President Nicolas Maduro has said Venezuela isn't a nation of "beggars" and won't accept the US humanitarian assistance. "If they really wanted to help they should lift all the economic sanctions, the financial persecution, and cancel the economic ban that robs us of billions of dollars", Maduro said.

Mr Pouyanne continued: "We chose to evacuate all of our personnel from Venezuela given the current situation" adding that the evacuation process had begun more than a week ago.

As the food and hygiene kits were packed into individual white bags in the city of Cucuta, just across the river from Venezuela, U.S. officials and Venezuelan opposition leaders appealed to the military to the let the aid through.

"We do not agree with the content of the document", Maduro said.

The first trucks of food to arrive at the distribution point on the border are enough to feed only 5,000 people for 10 days, according to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, equivalent to less than 0.02 percent of the population.

Guaido is trying to force Maduro from power, aiming to set up a transitional government and hold presidential elections. But Maduro has refused calls for him to step down, insisting Washington is orchestrating a coup against his government.

Maduro confirmed that he is ready to hold early parliamentary elections in the country in order to end the ongoing political crisis.

Guaido and his team have started speaking about a humanitarian corridor into the country, although with this border crossing blocked off, it was unclear how that would work.

More than forty nations including the United States, major European powers and most Latin American countries have recognized Guaido as the country's rightful head of state.

Maduro, who enjoys the support of China and Russian Federation, rebuffed calls to let the aid into the country on Friday, local time, in a dueling news conference in Caracas.

"European countries and the German government are squarely behind Mr. Guaido", Niels Annen, a German deputy foreign minister, told DW.

The 35-year-old Guaido caused shockwaves in Venezuelan politics on January 23 when he declared himself acting president, a move quickly backed by the USA and subsequently around 40 countries.

With the Venezuelan military still apparently loyal to Maduro, a source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.

Present at the meeting were representatives from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Britain, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay, as well as the EU.

"The main objective here is to bring humanitarian assistance- and if it must be done by military support, so be it", he said.

Guaido identified the three collection points for worldwide humanitarian aid as the Brazil-Venezuela border, an as-of-yet unidentified Caribbean island, and Cucuta. "Humanitarian aid now. United public outcry".

Huizenga said Friday that the committee has asked to send a mission to Venezuela, and has seen informal signs that this might be agreed.



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