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Venezuelan military continues to block aid

Eenadu India 2019-02-09 11:36:00

Venezuelan military continues to block aid

San Antonio: The Venezuelan military, loyal to the embattled President Nicolas Maduro continued to block on Friday the bridge where humanitarian aid is stationed.

Dozens of volunteers prepared sacks of rice, canned tuna and protein-rich biscuits for malnourished children at a warehouse on the Colombian border on Friday as Venezuela's opposition vowed to deliver the US humanitarian aid to their troubled nation, even if it means mounting a mass mobilisation of their countrymen to carry it in.

A large truck was blocking the Tienditas bridge in Urena, in Tachira state and armed soldiers were stationed.

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

But Freddy Bernal, a longtime official in Maduro's government denied that the bridge was blocked and said other material was allowed in the night before.

"The coup is a media show, an international show, it is real nonsense," he said.

The emergency supplies have become the focus of Venezuela's political struggle between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido, who declared interim presidential powers in late January, accusing Maduro of being illegitimate following an election last year widely viewed as a sham.

The goods, including packaged corn flour, lentils and pasta, arrived Thursday in what the opposition is hoping will be the first of many shipments of humanitarian aid from countries around the world.

Opposition leaders said three countries in the region will become aid hubs and that some nations, like Colombia, will likely have more than one collection site.

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The first shipment includes food kits for 5,000 Venezuelans and high-protein nutritional supplements that can treat an estimated 6,700 young children with moderate malnutrition.

Additional aid is being stored in Miami and Houston.