Venezuela crisis: US planes carrying aid arrive in Colombia

Saturday - 16/02/2019 23:08
The first of several US military transport planes carrying humanitarian aid arrived in Cucuta on the Colombian border with Venezuela
The first of several US military transport planes carrying humanitarian aid arrived in Cucuta on the Colombian border with Venezuela
US military planes carrying humanitarian aid for Venezuela have arrived in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

The aid is being stockpiled at the request of the Venezuelan opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president last month.

President Nicolás Maduro has alleged the aid is part of a US plot. 

Mr Guaidó says Venezuelan volunteers will carry it across the border on 23 February. 

Speaking at a news conference in Cucuta, a USAID administrator, Mark Green, said the aid had been requested by Mr Guaidó because Venezuela was in the grip of a growing humanitarian crisis.

"Children are going hungry, and nearly every hospital in Venezuela is experiencing serious medicine shortages."

He said the crisis had reached regional proportions, with three million Venezuelans migrating to neighbouring countries in search of food and medicine. 

"Today we are standing on the frontlines of one of the largest displacements of people in the history of Latin America." 

Humanitarian aid for Venezuela is inspected after being unloaded from a U.S. Air Force plane at Camilo Daza Airport in Cucuta, Colombia February 16, 2019
REUTERS
Inspectors from the Organisation of American States examined the aid on its arrival in Cucuta
 

A representative for Mr Guaidó said more collection points for aid were being opened up in Brazil and the Caribbean. 

He said meetings would take place with the Brazilian government this week to organise details of storage facilities in the Brazilian state of Roraima on the border with Venezuela.

He added that aid was being stockpiled in Miami to be flown to the Dutch territory of Curaçao early next week.

It remains unclear if the aid will be allowed to enter Venezuela. 

Media captionVenezuela's President Maduro to BBC: US aid trucks are a charade
Venezuela's President Maduro to BBC: US aid trucks are a charade

President Nicolas Maduro has called the operation a US-orchestrated show and denies there is any crisis. 

On Friday he ordered the military to remain on high alert against what he described as US "war plans"

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 Keywords: US, Venezuela

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