Maduro Sends 100 Tons of Aid to Cuba Despite Venezuela Crisis

Foreign Ministers of the Lima Group gather for a meeting concerning Venezuela in Lima Peru Friday Jan. 4 2019

Guaido's representative to Monday's Ottawa meeting, Orlando Viera-Blanco, said the decision was a key step in freeing his country from its economic and political crisis and putting in on a road toward democracy. Because the National Assembly does not recognize the legitimacy of Maduro's reelection, the body asserts that, according to the Venezuelan constitution, it is empowered to appoint the Assembly president as the country's interim acting president.

Canada and the Lima Group of more than a dozen North and South American countries have backed Guaido as the legitimate replacement for Maduro, who followed left-wing populist Hugo Chavez into Venezuela's presidency after Chavez's death in 2013.

The United States is sending food and medical supplies to Colombia's border with Venezuela where it will be stockpiled until it can be delivered to the economically shattered nation, USA officials with knowledge of the plan said today. Guaido urged Uruguay to prevent the move.

This weekend he plans to oversee a deliberate provocation of the military by ordering in supplies of humanitarian aid.

The Venezuelan leader, accused of running the OPEC nation of 30 million people like a dictatorship and wrecking its economy, has defied them and said European rulers are sycophantically following President Donald Trump.

The United States could attempt to seek the approval of the United Nations Security Council to deliver aid without Maduro's cooperation, but Russian Federation would likely block such a move.

The Cucuta crossing was mainly quiet on Tuesday, but police officials told Reuters that more migrants have been asking where humanitarian aid will be delivered. "We can not buy drugs in Venezuela, you die before you get them". It also called on Venezuela's military to give their loyalty to the interim president.

In contrast, Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Turkey voiced support for Maduro, while China called for resolving all differences peacefully and warned against foreign interference. "We are not beggars". Maduro won another presidential term in May 2018 in an election heavily criticized both inside and outside of Venezuela for its restrictions on opposition parties as well as low turnout (around 20 percent).

The top Japanese government spokesman also said, "It is regrettable that the Venezuelan government held an inauguration ceremony for its president without fulfilling its accountability (to the people)", swearing in Maduro for his second term last month after an election in May a year ago.

Venezuela's government said on Monday it would revise bilateral relations with European Union member states that have recognized Guaido as legitimate head-of-state, saying their move would affect relations with Caracas.



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