Venezuela's Maduro vows to block 'fake' aid 'spectacle'





Caracas (AFP) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed on Friday not to let in "fake" aid from the United States requested by opposition leader Juan Guaido, which is being stockpiled at the border with Colombia.

"Venezuela won't allow the spectacle of fake humanitarian aid because we're no-one's beggars," Maduro said at a press conference in Caracas.

He also hit out at European and Latin American ministers who called on Thursday for a new presidential ballot.

Meeting in Uruguay's capital Montevideo, the International Contact Group had urged "free, transparent and credible presidential elections" in crisis-wracked Venezuela "as soon as possible" to find a peaceful solution to the power struggle between Maduro and Guaido.

Under Maduro's guidance, Venezuela has descended into economic crisis marked by hyperinflation, recession and shortages of basic necessities including food and medicine.

Guaido has claimed 300,000 people could die if Maduro doesn't allow the humanitarian aid to enter.

Over the border, Venezuelan troops are blocking the road that trucks carrying the aid would have to travel on.

Bringing in aid is central to National Assembly President Guaido's challenge to Maduro's authority.

Guaido caused shock waves in Venezuelan politics on January 23 when he declared himself acting president, a move quickly backed by the US and subsequently around 40 countries.

Speaking on Friday, Maduro said Venezuela's humanitarian crisis has been "fabricated by Washington" to justify "intervention" in the South American country.

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

"Liberate the money that has been blocked and sequestered," said Maduro.

"This is a macabre game: we squeeze them by the neck and make them ask for crumbs."

He said the aid offer was "a message of humiliation for the people."

Earlier on Wednesday morning, a Venezuelan military boat carrying 100 tons (tonnes) of aid landed in Havana. Cuba was recently hit by a tornado.

Turning his ire on the Contact Group, Maduro aimed a message at the European Union.

"You don't listen to the truth in Venezuela. You're deaf... They've taken extremist positions," he said.

The Contact Group had urged Maduro to allow in aid and said it would send a mission to Venezuela to discuss how to "establish the necessary guarantees for a credible electoral process, as soon as possible."

The group, which says it includes countries with a "neutral" perspective on the Venezuela crisis, chided Maduro over the deaths of 40 opposition protesters last month.

It also told the socialist leader to "restore full democracy, the rule of law, the separation of powers and respect for the constitutional mandate of the country's institutions, particularly the democratically elected National Assembly."

The opposition-controlled legislature has been powerless since 2016 after it was stripped of its powers by the Supreme Court, made up of regime loyalists.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Trump pleads with Venezuela
Trump pleads with Venezuela's military to back Guaido
  • World
  • 2019-02-19 00:53:29Z

MIAMI (AP) - President Donald Trump on Monday pleaded with Venezuela's military to support opposition leader Juan Guaido and issued a dire warning if they continue to stand with President Nicolas Maduro's government.

The Latest: Maduro says Trump sounds almost Nazi-like
The Latest: Maduro says Trump sounds almost Nazi-like

MIAMI (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump addressing the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):

Trump warns Venezuela military they are risking their lives and future
Trump warns Venezuela military they are risking their lives and future

MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned members of Venezuela's military who are helping President Nicolas Maduro to stay in power that they are risking their future and their lives and urged them to allow humanitarian aid into the country. Speaking to a cheering crowd mostly of Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants, Trump said if the Venezuelan military continues supporting Maduro, "you will find no safe harbor, no easy exit and no way out. You'll lose everything." He said he wanted a peaceful transition of power in Venezuela but that all options remained open. ...

Trump to say in speech Venezuela
Trump to say in speech Venezuela's military should let humanitarian aid into country
  • World
  • 2019-02-18 16:08:00Z

The White House issued points from a speech Trump was to deliver in the Miami area later in the day, said the president will say the Venezuelan military should let humanitarian aid into the country. Trump will offer strong support for interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaido in the speech at Florida

Trump Courts 2020 Hispanic Vote in Miami With Venezuela Remarks
Trump Courts 2020 Hispanic Vote in Miami With Venezuela Remarks

The remarks at Florida International University on Monday afternoon, in the heart of this immigrant community, come weeks after National Assembly leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president and just days after the U.S. imposed new sanctions on five additional Maduro associates. Guaido on Jan. 23 declared himself the country's leader until a free election can be called, asking the Venezuelan military to help him, and saying Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. The U.S. has recognized Guaido and is pushing Venezuela's military to get behind him as part of an international effort to force out Maduro.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Europe

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.