Maduro: Venezuelans Not ‘Beggars,' Give Humanitarian Aid to Colombians

Posted February 10, 2019

Maduro also repudiated a statement issued by the International Contact Group on Venezuela.

The Maduro government, responsible for an economic collapse that has reportedly forced some three million Venezuelans to flee the country, lashed out at the European Union nations, saying their move would damage relations with Caracas.

The U.S. has revoked visas for members of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly amid an ongoing push to ramp up pressure on Caracas, the special envoy for Venezuela said Thursday.

The government of embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has blocked aid deliveries amid rising tensions over opposition plans to bring humanitarian aid into the country. "We know that there is a blockade in Tienditas (on the border with Colombia)". In that sense, the governor stressed that Washington seeks justifications for the military intervention and thus seize Venezuela, its oil and mining resources.

"But on the inside it brings the poison of humiliation", Maduro said on Friday. "This is a very anti-Western, anti-democratic, anti-American regime".

"We are imposing visa restrictions and revoking the visas of members of the illegitimate constituent assembly", he said.

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Abrams continued to call for Maduro to hand off the reins, saying it does not matter where the Venezuelan president goes, as long as he is no longer at the helm of the South American nation.

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Trump last week issued sweeping sanctions against state oil company PDVSA, froze profits generated by refining subsidiary Citgo, and has vowed to starve Maduro's government of all revenue.

A day after the United States aid convoy arrived in the border city of Cucuta, Maduro ridiculed the Americans for offering small amounts of assistance while maintaining sanctions that block some $10 billion of offshore assets and revenue.

Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $140 million-including almost $97 million in humanitarian assistance, and approximately $43 million in development and economic assistance-to support the generous efforts of affected countries to host displaced Venezuelans.

The Venezuelan military has blocked the bridge where the aid is stationed and Maduro is refusing to allow it in.

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President Nicolas Maduro has said Venezuela isn't a nation of "beggars" and won't accept the USA humanitarian assistance. Opposition leaders said three countries in the region will become aid hubs and that some nations, like Colombia, will likely have more than one collection site.

The Trump administration expects further military defections from Maduro's side, the official told Reuters in an interview, despite only a few senior officers having done so since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president last month, earning the recognition of the United States and dozens of other countries.

Huizenga said Friday that the committee has asked to send a mission to Venezuela, and has seen informal signs that this might be agreed.

"We'll do everything we have to in a sovereign and autonomous manner to end the usurpation, (establish) the transitional government and (hold) free elections", said Guaido. Iohannis, in charge of the country's foreign policy, said Romania needed to have "quick, fundamental and firm reactions" to worldwide developments.

The 35-year-old argues Maduro was re-elected last year in a sham vote and the country must hold new presidential elections.

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