Venezuela border tensions turn violent amid aid distribution bid

The Wider Image Malnourished Venezuelans hope urgently needed aid arrives soon

REUTERS Carlos Garcia Rawlins

Friday's violence broke out in the village of Kumarakapay in southern Venezuela after an indigenous community stopped a military convoy heading toward the border with Brazil that they believed was attempting to block aid, according to community leaders Richard Fernandez and Ricardo Delgado.

Venezuelans in support of Maduro heeded his request, and began to congregate by the thousands in the country's capital of Caracas to show their support, as his opposition congregates at border crossings.

China, which along with Russian Federation backs Maduro, warned that humanitarian aid should not be forced across the border because doing so could lead to violence.

Similar to the 1985 Live Aid concert, which raised funds to relieve the Ethiopian starvation, Branson has set a goal of raising $100 million within 60 days.

"Juan Guaidó is the only legitimate leader of Venezuela, and it's time for Nicolas Maduro to go", Farah declared.

The U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, who joined regional leaders and diplomats in Cucuta to show support for the opposition, called the killings "a crime and a disgrace".

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido also attended the concert, even though he was under orders from Maduro not to travel outside the country.

"We don't want to be interfered with, we don't want to be invaded", said Johana Suarez.

A day earlier, Venezuelan dictator Nicolás Maduro closed the nation's border with Brazil, and now some fear he might close the border to Colombia next, shutting off almost all inland access to the country. A concert known as Paz Sin Fronteras - Peace Without Borders - was held in 2008 after a diplomatic flare-up that drew Venezuelan troops to the Colombia border.

"The situation is critical and we should be all united to allow the aid to pass", said shopkeeper Jeremy Ortega, 21.

Guaido revealed that he was able to cross over yesterday with the help of the Venezuelan armed forces.

The Venezuelan National Guard clashes with citizens in a town along the Colombian border.

Heightened tensions in Venezuela left one woman dead and a dozen injured near the border with Brazil on Friday, marking the first deadly clash related to the opposition's plan to deliver humanitarian aid that President Nicolas Maduro has vowed not to accept.

A man wears an anti-Maduro tshirt as he walks to the place where "Venezuela Aid Live" concert will be held at Tienditas International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, on February 22, 2019.

This week, President Trump cautioned the Maduro against blocking aid from entering Venezuela, warning his military allies that they would eventually "lose everything" if they fail to renounce him.

Sanguino said that 'the Colombian government is acting in the wrong way by encouraging confrontation and polarization, using humanitarian aid, which could lead to war.

"This is a great accomplishment, Venezuela!"

The news comes as Mr Maduro ordered troops to block aid coming into the nation despite widespread shortages of food and medicine, and warned the United States and its allies were using "the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid" to try to "destroy the independence and sovereignty of the country".

Maduro's rival concert, decidedly smaller and featuring Cuban and local artists, began hours later nearby on the Venezuelan side of the border in Urena. Meanwhile aid is being stockpiled in Colombia, Brazil and the Caribbean island of Curacao because of Maduro's ban. "We will obviously keep a very close eye on what happens tomorrow", Dujarric said.

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