AP reported citing a leaked State Department email about US military aircraft being ready to kickstart the delivery of 250 tons of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro had earlier asserted he would fend off all foreign humanitarian aid, which the opposition so vehemently insists on. According to him, Venezuela is capable of satisfying its people's needs on its own and should by no means ask for anybody else's help.
Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams told reporters Thursday that the US is set to step up efforts to "organize donations of humanitarian assistance to Venezuela." He remarked that at least "some aid" has already reached the destination despite Maduro's "efforts to block it." The ICRC and the UN in the meantime warned US leadership against politicizing humanitarian assistance and providing aid without local authorities' consent.
On February 14, Cuba's foreign ministry reported on flights conducted by US military non-combat aircraft from American military bases, where special ops units and marines are based, in the direction of Caribbean states, which Venezuela notably belongs to. Among the locations named were Rafael Miranda airport in Puerto Rico, San Isidro Air Base in the Dominican Republic and "other Caribbean islands that have strategic locations, while the countries' governments were presumably unaware of the move," the statement read.
Meanwhile, multiple assumptions have been around over a potential US military intervention into Venezuela after US President Donald Trump told CBS in a February 2 interview that such a course of actions was indeed "an option." However, the Congress completely ruled this out, House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said during a hearing on the Venezuelan crisis on Wednesday.
Tensions in Venezuela reached its climax on January 23, when parliamentary speaker Juan Guaido declared himself interim president, rejecting Maduro's re-election in May 2018. Guaido was shortly thereafter recognised by the United States and a number of Latin American and European states. Russia, China, Turkey and Mexico are among those nations that reaffirmed their support for Maduro as the country's only legitimate head.
Maduro, in turn, blasted what he called a "coup d'etat" being orchestrated by Washington, which pursued the goal of "colonising" his country. According to Maduro, Venezuelan opposition leaders "have acted against the interests of the Venezuelan people and caused damage to the state", and will some time soon be brought to justice. 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 ally with them instead.