Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Eerie photo sums up humanitarian crisis facing starving Venezuela


The U.S. government is also weighing possible sanctions on Cuban military and intelligence officials whom it says are helping Maduro remain in power, a second U.S. official and person familiar with the deliberations have told Reuters.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said today the US -backed humanitarian aid being stockpiled in the Colombian border city of Cucuta for his country should be distributed to poor Colombians as Venezuelans are not "beggars".

Earlier this week, opposition leaders announced the coordinated shipments of baby formula, medical supplies, and food from the U.S., Colombia, and Venezuelans overseas. Some Maduro critics say the Venezuelan people would welcome a USA led regional effort to force the entrenched leader from power.

On Thursday, he appeared in an event at the presidential palace as part of a campaign by government supporters demanding an end to USA aggression against Venezuela. "You can be sure that it won't disturb Venezuela".

'The revolution is more alive than ever, ' Maduro said. His opposition rival, Juan Guaidó, now recognised as the rightful president by the United States and most South American and European nations, says that up to 300,000 people are in danger of dying for want of humanitarian assistance.

"He's got friends in places like Cuba and Russia", Abrams said.

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Representatives of the European Union and a group of Latin American governments met in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Thursday to discuss the crisis.

More than 3 million Venezuelan people have fled the country amid an aggravating humanitarian crisis and an extreme poverty rate of 40 percent.

He said the supplies would be delivered to Venezuelans when it was "logistically safe" to do so. According to the New York Times, Maduro has "long relied on food handouts to keep his political base loyal during the country's long economic collapse", so shipments of aid are seen as a threat to the dictator as he struggles to fend off a coup.

The United States has recognised Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, as the interim president of the economically troubled nation.

General Francisco Yanez of the air force's high command became the first active Venezuelan general to recognize Guaido, but he is one of about 2,000 generals.

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