"We are going to continue with and are going to increase our efforts to organize donations of humanitarian assistance to Venezuela", Abrams said. Abrams explained that some humanitarian aid has made it into the country despite efforts by President Nicolas Maduro's government to block it.
On Monday, Christoph Harnisch, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Columbia, said his organization will not assist in delivering the goods to Venezuela because the ICRC does not consider the US assistance to be humanitarian aid.
Earlier this month, the ICRC warned US officials against politicizing humanitarian assistance and delivering aid without the consent of local authorities. UN spokesman Stephen Dujarric told reporters last week, referring to the crisis in Venezuela, that humanitarian action must be independent of political or military objectives.
The US government seized billions of dollars in Venezuelan oil assets after Guaido proclaimed himself the country’s president on 23 January. US Vice President Mike Pence in a phone call the night before promised Guaido the United States would provide support to the self-proclaimed president, according to media reports.
The Maduro government still holds power as Venezuela’s army has reiterated its loyalty to the country’s president despite the opposition’s calls for the military leadership to switch allegiances.