Maduro: Venezuela's Independence Being Destroyed under Cloak of Humanitarian Aid

US urges Venezuelan troops to allow aid into the country in exchange for freedom from sanctions

Juan Guaidó, who is recognised as president by most South American and western nations, ...

Convoys of food and medicine supplied by the U.S. at the request of interim President Juan Guaido have been brought to the Venezuelan-Colombian border.

Guaido says the emergency shipment is a "test" for Venezuela's armed forces, which will have to choose if they allow the much needed aid to pass, or if they instead obey orders.

A day after the USA aid convoy arrived in the border city of Cucuta, Maduro ridiculed the Americans for offering small amounts of assistance while maintaining sanctions that block some $10 billion of offshore assets and revenue.

"Inhibiting the entry of this aid could be seen as a crime against humanity". Total's Venezuela operations were previously managed from the US.

Guaido has given few details of his strategy, but says the food and supplies will reach Venezuela's most vulnerable people in the next days.

Bringing in aid is central to the National Assembly president's challenge to Maduro's authority, as are street protests, the next of which will take place on Wednesday.

Mr Guaido said Venezuela's "sovereign and elected" National Assembly has the support of some 60 countries.

He blamed shortages of food and medicine on U.S. sanctions, which mostly target regime individuals as well as state oil company PDVSA.

"And there are a number of countries who are willing to accept him". They squeeze us by the neck and then make us beg for crumbs'.

In this regard, Maduro assured that the supposed humanitarian aid promoted by Washington "is a message of humiliation to the Venezuelan people".

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He told the cheering crowd: 'We will keep going until we achieve our objective'.

Under Maduro's rule, Venezuela has endured one of the deepest economic collapses in recent history, with hyperinflation and ever-worsening shortages.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido has been recognized by the U.S.

"We'll do everything we have to in a sovereign and autonomous manner to achieve an end to the usurpation, a transitional government and free elections", he said.

-Question: Would you receive emissaries of the International Contact Group seeking a negotiated solution?

"You're deaf to the reality of a revolution with 20 years of democratic patrimony; you only follow the script written by the extreme right", he said.

"Cuba is the only reason Venezuela is where it is", Scott said.

Maduro, who last weekend rejected an European Union ultimatum to organise snap presidential elections, fumed: "You don't listen to the truth in Venezuela". "Venezuela is not suffering the humanitarian crisis made up by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country".

"The body has usurped numerous constitutional powers of the legitimate National Assembly and embodies Maduro's destruction of democratic institutions", Abrams told reporters.

On Friday, the Supreme Court asked the attorney general's office to investigate alleged "criminal" conduct by Guaido and the legislature over the "usurpation of functions" that correspond to Maduro.

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