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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (578)

    Earlier, Colombia confirmed that it was establishing a facility for collecting humanitarian aid for Venezuela, after the US Agency for International Development (USAID) said it held talks with Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president, Juan Guaido, and agreed to "work together to help restore democracy" in the Latin American country.

    Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza issued a scathing rebuke of Trump National Security Adviser John Bolton's demand that President Nicolas Maduro "get out of the way" of US aid for Venezuela.

    "Those who wage unjust wars in the world, devastate innocent civilian populations, subject economies to blockades, cause death, hunger, destruction and suffering then label their actions as HUMANITARIAN. There is nothing more INHUMAN and cynical than imperialism," Arreaza wrote in a tweet in response to Bolton.

    Earlier, the Trump administration official wrote in a tweet that "pursuant to the request of Interim President Juan Guaido," the US would send humanitarian aid "for the people of Venezuela" and demanded that democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro "get out of the way."

    Bolton courted controversy last week when, during a press briefing announcing new sanctions against Caracas, he was photographed holding a yellow notepad reading "5,000 troops to Colombia," prompting speculation that Washington may be discussing plans to deploy troops to the Latin American country, which borders Venezuela, to assist in a US-backed invasion.

    On Saturday, Colombian President Ivan Duque confirmed that his government would allow for the creation of a facility to collect humanitarian aid for "for the brotherly people of Venezuela" in Cucuta, a city in northeastern Colombia on the border with Venezuela. Self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido thanked Duque for the gesture.

    Earlier, Guaido said that three foreign aid facilities would be created, one in Colombia, one in Brazil, and another on an island in the Caribbean Sea.

    Last week, USAID Administrator Mark Green said that he had held talks with Guiado in which the two discussed the "dire humanitarian situation" in Venezuela and voiced a "mutual commitment to work together to help restore dignity, human rights, and democracy in Venezuela."

    Venezuela has faced economic turmoil for years following the global collapse of oil prices, which led to hyperinflation and shortages of food and other items which were tightly controlled and subsidised by the government. The Venezuelan government blamed the opposition, local oligarchs and foreign interests, as well as US sanctions, for the crisis, while opposition cited currency restrictions, economic mismanagement, and barriers to foreign economic activity.

    People took to the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities on Saturday, with protesters supporting opposition leader Guaido facing off against demonstrators supporting the government.

    The crisis in Venezuela entered a new stage on January 23, when Guaido denounced Maduro and proclaimed himself the country's interim president following a phone call with US Vice-President Mike Pence. The United States, its allies in Latin America, Canada and several European powers expressed their support for the lawmaker. Russia, China, Mexico, Iran, Turkey, Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua voiced their support for Maduro as Venezuela's legitimate president, and called on outside powers not to meddle in Venezuela's internal affairs.

    Political Crisis in Venezuela (578)


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