Maduro Sends 100 Tons of Aid to Cuba Despite Venezuela Crisis

Wilmer Guiado the taxi driving father of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado

The Venezuelan military has barricaded a bridge at a key border crossing, issuing a challenge on Wednesday to a US -backed effort by the opposition to bring humanitarian aid into the troubled nation.

The White House has announced that Colombian President Ivan Duque and First Lady Maria Juliana Ruiz Sandoval will visit on February 13 to discuss pro-growth policies, terrorism and illicit narcotic networks, regional security partnerships and efforts to restore democracy in Venezuela.

Franklin Graham, chief executive of relief group Samaritan's Purse and the son of renowned Christian evangelist Billy Graham, said until humanitarian groups had access inside Venezuela, most aid likely would remain outside.

"We need more and more pressure on the top of the army corps, and in the top of the political dictatorship", Viera-Blanco said.

Eleven of the 14 members of the so-called Lima Group, including Argentina, Brazil and Canada, reiterated their support for Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate interim leader and called for free elections.

"This is a process led by the people of Venezuela in their very fearless quest to return their country themselves to democracy in accordance with their own constitution", she said.

In a declaration, the group urged the Venezuelan military to support Guaidó.

Guterres was encouraged by last Saturday's peaceful protest, saying "Our strong call is to avoid all forms of violence, that, of course, have no goal and do not benefit anyone".

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Guaido is an opposition leader who's the head of Venezuela's legislature. Jon Snow is joined by the Labour MP Chris Williamson, who like Jeremy Corbyn, has supported the Chavez and Maduro governments in Venezuela.

Earlier Tuesday the opposition-dominated National Assembly had warned the armed forces, which make up much of Maduro's power base, not to cross a "red line" by blocking aid. She said that humanitarian volunteers would find a way to get the aid into the country regardless.

European Union member states had indicated that if no new elections are announced, they would take action within the next few days, including on the issue of recognition of the country's leadership in accordance with Article 233 of the Venezuelan constitution.

Pressure is growing on Mr Maduro to step down after more than a dozen European Union countries joined the US, Canada and a group of Latin American countries in recognising Mr Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader.

Maduro broke off diplomatic ties with the United States after Trump recognized Guaido.

Russia, China and Turkey still back socialist Mr Maduro and have accused Western nations of meddling in Venezuela's internal affairs.

Lavrov said Moscow considers the situation in Venezuela "alarming" particularly because of the recognition of Guaido as interim president by a range of countries.

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