Venezuela’s self-declared interim leader has set up a confrontation over US aid by calling for Venezuelans to cross borders and bring it into the country next week.
Juan Guaidó wants a “humanitarian avalanche” and “caravans” to go to the borders to get the aid next Saturday. President Nicolás Maduro says the aid is part of a US plot to disguise an invasion into Venezuela.
The US says Mr Guaidó requested aid because the country was in crisis.
USAID administrator Mark Green said children were going hungry, that nearly every hospital in Venezuela was experiencing medicine shortages and that three million people had left the country.
It remains unclear if the aid will be allowed to enter Venezuela.
US military planes have already delivered aid to the Colombian border town of Cucuta. Mr Guaidó said more aid distribution centres would be opened in the Brazilian border town of Roraima and in the Caribbean.
Outlining his plans for 23 February, Mr Guaidó, who is leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, urged Venezuelans to mobilise en masse in all of the country’s states.
He said aid would enter Venezuela by land and sea and also urged Venezuelans living abroad to demonstrate and for those in Colombia and Brazil to accompany the aid into Venezuela.
In an earlier tweet he said 600,000 people had signed up as volunteers to help bring in the aid and appealed to the military – which has so far remained loyal to Mr Maduro – to “put itself on the side of the people” and let the aid in. (BBC)