Mexican President Urges to Provide Aid to Venezuela Without Political Intentions

Mae Love
February 9, 2019

No details have been released on exactly how the opposition plans to get the shipments into Venezuela.

"As a candidate for President, I pledged a new approach".

The U.S. government also sees European allies as likely to do more to prevent Maduro from transferring or hiding Venezuela government assets held outside the country, the U.S. official said. These nations have recognized Juan Guaido, the President of Venezuela's National Assembly, as the country's interim leader.

But the World Food Programme, which provides emergency aid to countries in crisis and conflict is not operating in Venezuela at the moment.

Maduro has overseen an economic collapse in the oil-rich OPEC country that has left many Venezuelans malnourished and struggling to find medicine, sparking the exodus of an estimated 3 million Venezuelans.

The United States, along with allies Colombia and Brazil, are trying to bring aid into Venezuela, a move that Maduro says is a precursor to a USA invasion.

Accompanied by his wife Fabiana Rosales, center right, Venezuela's self proclaimed president Juan Guaido, arrives for a meet with university students at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 9, 2019.

Four previous attempts at dialogue between the government and the opposition have failed since Maduro came to power in 2013.

Whitaker said the US involvement stops at the Colombian border, where the Guaido-led opposition will be charged with distributing the aid inside Venezuela, a seemingly tall task as Maduro shows no signs of conceding.

Negotiation remains unlikely unless the army distances itself from Maduro and "puts in place another interlocutor", says Anna Ayuso, of the Center for International Affairs (CIDOB) in Barcelona.

However military intervention opponents point out the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela does not pose a direct security threat to the United States. And they worry hawks in the Trump administration may be advocating for military solutions to try to resolve complex diplomatic, economic and political problems.

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks at Iglesia Doral Jesus Worship Center on the political crisis in Venezuela on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, in Doral, Florida.

Maduro has called for "face to face" talks with Guaido and to that end is supporting the Contact Group meeting, starting Thursday, of European and Latin American countries in Montevideo.

Guadio is backed as the de facto leader by more than 40 nations, including the USA and major European powers, who want Maduro to step down.

Maduro has criticized Trump for threatening the use of military force in his country and said Venezuelans would resist USA aggression.

"And who do you think you are?" Around 800,000 Venezuelans are said to have crossed the border and settled in Colombia.

With the Venezuelan military still apparently loyal to Maduro, a source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.

"There is an urgent need for more humanitarian assistance", a United Nations spokesman in Geneva said.

But a US military intervention in Venezuela could fracture support from Latin American counties that have been critical of past USA interventions in the region and could bolster Maduro's image in Venezuela as a sympathetic and anti-imperialist leader.

Additional aid is being stored in Miami and Houston and "ready to be deployed to the region immediately", the US said in a statement.

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. But analysts caution a USA intervention in Venezuela, which is twice the size of Iraq and densely populated, could require a significant and sustained US military commitment to succeed.

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