"Gangs of Colombian criminals, armed formations and Venezuelan thugs were set up to attack [the Venezuelan] border on February 23. But they did not pass and they shall never pass. Hands off Venezuela, we demand respect for our sovereignty and territory", Maduro said in a statement, broadcast via Periscope late on Tuesday.
The attempt to deliver the so-called aid resulted in clashes between the Venezuelan National Guard officers, who prevented trucks with aid from crossing the country's border without permission, and pro-aid protesters, who tried to help deliver the alleged aid into Venezuela.
Four people were killed on the border with Brazil, which has been collecting aid as well, according to Venezuelan non-governmental organization Criminal Forum. Head of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro, in turn, said that at least 335 people had been injured in border clashes between law enforcement officers and protesters.
Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said that international law provided for deliveries of foreign humanitarian aid only in cases of natural disasters and armed conflicts and denied the allegations of humanitarian crisis in the country.
The United Nations and the Red Cross have urged Washington not to politicize humanitarian assistance and not to deliver aid without the consent of the Venezuelan government.
Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other states have reaffirmed their support for constitutionally elected Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president. In addition, the United Nations also still recognizes the Maduro government.