Trump to say Venezuela's move to democracy is 'irreversible'

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio visits the Colombia Venezuela border at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge on the outskirts of Cucuta
Trump to say Venezuela's move to democracy is 'irreversible'
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19 February, 2019

However, Mr Guaido has promised to move hundreds of tonnes of aid into the country within the week.

Billionaire Richard Branson said Monday that he hopes the concert he's throwing to rally humanitarian aid for Venezuela will help draw global attention and save lives by raising funds for "much-needed medical help" for the crisis-torn country.

While Trump has refused to rule out a USA military intervention in Venezuela, Congressman Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said during a congressional hearing last week that lawmakers would not support such a move.

Trump's latest appeal will come during a speech Monday in Miami where Trump will seek to ramp up the public pressure on the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, following a series of US-led sanctions and diplomatic maneuvers aimed at ousting Maduro. Mr. Trump has used Venezuela as an example of what, in the administration's view, happens when a country turns to socialism.

The city is the staging point for foreign humanitarian aid - much of it from the USA government - that is being blocked from entry to Venezuela by socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

He did not explicitly say the food would be distributed in Cucuta.

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Two of three scheduled Air Force C-17 cargo planes that took off from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida had landed in Cucuta. About 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015 as the crisis intensified, according to the United Nations.


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Yorger Maita, a helper from the aid group Rescate Venezuela, said that if foreign aid doesn't enter "other people will continue to die".

US Senator Marco Rubio arrived Sunday in Cucuta for a first-hand look at the aid operations.

Maduro calls the aid a "US orchestrated show" and denies any crisis in Venezuela.

"Whoever prevents the entry of humanitarian aid is condemned to spend the rest of their lives fleeing global justice, because that is an worldwide crime", Mr Rubio said in Spanish. Those who remain have been punished by hyperinflation that has put scarce food and medicine out of reach for many.

Mr Maduro has dismissed the humanitarian assistance as "crumbs" and "rotten and contaminated food" while blaming shortages of food and medicine on U.S. sanctions.

Guaido says he wants one million volunteers by Saturday, the deadline day he has set to bring in the aid piling up at the border with Colombia and aiming to alleviate food and medicine shortages.


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