The Debate - Venezuela's next battleground: Maduro rejects humanitarian aid convoys

Demonstrators clash with members of Venezuelan National Guard in this file

Demonstrators clash with members of Venezuelan National Guard in this file

Guterres said he was following the crisis in Venezuela "with a lot of concern", adding that he had discussed the various initiatives put forward with the countries involved. Mexico and Uruguay have not recognized Guaido's interim presidency.

The U.S. officials said trucks carrying the aid, including high-protein foods, would arrive in Cucuta this week at the request of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who last month declared himself to be the South American nation's interim president.

In a statement following a meeting in Ottawa, they urged the global community to prevent Maduro's government from conducting financial and trade transactions overseas, having access to Venezuela's worldwide assets and doing business in oil, gold and other assets.

Opposition lawmaker Miguel Pizarro told reporters in Caracas on Tuesday that Guaido's team would talk about how the aid would move once it was in place.

Immediately, the U.S. was the first to recognise Guaido as the President and also promised humanitarian aid to Venezuela. We have to remember that Russian Federation has invested a lot of money in Venezuela; as has China, especially in the oil exploration domain and it also has strategic ties with Venezuela, in terms of military co-operation, and at the moment Russian Federation is assisting Venezuela in reforming its economy.

With nearly no information about how aid will be distributed, the Cucuta crossing from Venezuela appeared to be quiet on Tuesday.

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But the United Nations has declined to take sides in the crisis in Venezuela. "We can not buy drugs in Venezuela, you die before you get them".

However Russia, China and Turkey continue to back Maduro, accusing Western nations of meddling.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland noted that the demonstrators had the right under the Canadian constitution to make their voices heard. "We are not beggars".

Britain said it was now considering imposing sanctions to help bring about change in Venezuela and has urged Guaidó to hold free and fair elections as soon as possible.

The declaration in the final Lima Group communique from Monday's emergency meeting in Ottawa came two days after the defection of a top air-force general, once loyal to socialist president Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro's government, overseeing an economic collapse that has prompted 3 million Venezuelans to flee the country, lashed out at the European Union nations for recognizing Guaido, accusing them of submitting to a USA "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government". "They are willing to collaborate and I am sure that this will be one of the most important events, topics, elements in order to accomplish a way out in Venezuela", said Viera-Blanco, who has become the de-facto ambassador to Canada of Venezuela's interim government - whose authority Maduro rejects.

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