The crisis in Venezuelan continues as Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guido on Saturday stepped up his standoff with President Maduro by announcing the entry of a first truckload of humanitarian aid across the border with Brazil, despite Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s refusal, who sees it as a cover for US intervention.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced the break-up of diplomatic relations with Colombia and has given the Colombian embassy staff in Caracas 24 hours to leave the country.
In a speech to thousands of his supporters gathered in the capital Caracas on Saturday, Maduro described his Colombian counterpart, Ivan Duque Marquez, as saying: “He have a of angel, but I would grab him from his cheeks and tell him you are a demon, Ivan Duque, stay away, Satan!”.
Maduro also announced that he was continuing to run his country, threatening to prosecute the organizers of the unrest, with ongoing attempts to introduce humanitarian aid across the country’s closed borders with Colombia and Brazil.
“I am running the affairs of our nation on the basis of the Constitution for the sake of the hardworking people, a duty on me”, the Venezuelan president said.
Maduro called on citizens and armed forces to go out on the streets and defend the homeland “if something is solved”.
Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez
said on Saturday that Venezuela had cut off diplomatic relations with Colombia by confirming that the relations were essentially non-existent and therefore there decision is actually irrelevant.
Ramirez tweeted, “Maduro is a dictator”.
“Maduro cannot cut diplomatic ties that Colombia doesn’t have with him”, adding that Maduro is just a dictator who occupies the Venezuela’s presidential palace.
“Our government didn’t appoint an ambassador there and doesn’t recognize the ambassador of Venezuela that was appointed by Maduro, as his presidential term ended on Jan. 9”, Ramirez tweeted.
On the other hand, Guido said, “We officially announce the entry of a first shipment of humanitarian aid across our border with Brazil, describing what has been a great achievement”.
Guido, who declared himself as acting president receive recognition by 50 countries.
Two trucks carrying about eight tons of humanitarian aid left early on Saturday at the Boa Vista base in northern Brazil towards Bacarayma, on the border with Venezuela, about 215 kilometers (155 miles) away, aid convoy organizers said.
Venezuelan television footage showed four trucks carrying humanitarian aid and dozens of volunteers trying to pass through the crossing from Colombia.
They were seen at the entrance of the bridge between the two countries at the Venezuelan town of Las Tienditas, opposite the Colombian city of Cucuta.
“Humanitarian assistance is at the moment on its way to Venezuela, peacefully and peacefully, to save lives”, Guido told reporters.
In a challenge to Maduro, Guido on Friday violated a judicial order preventing him from leaving Venezuelan territory, and confirmed that the military, the mainstay of the regime in Caracas, had “participated” in the process.
Guido on Saturday set the deadline for Venezuela to hand over food and medicine aid, mainly supplied by the United States.
However, Caracas ordered Friday the closure of the three main border bridges, while the fourth bridge in Tinditas, broken with obstacles and containers put by the Venezuelan army since early February.
Guido urges Venezuelan military to take a stand as he send his words as saying “Welcome to the right side of history, we welcome our military who stand today alongside the Constitution”.
Eleven soldiers, including a major of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (BNP), and two policemen on Saturday fled Venezuela to cross the border into Colombia in Cucuta, the Colombian immigration agency said in a statement, adding that it was “in the process of organizing talks” with them.
The clashes occurred without causing injuries, when soldiers tried to disperse hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the border to demand the introduction of aid.
Soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets against crowds in the city of San Antonio Del Tajira to prevent hundreds of people from going to the Simon Bolivar Bridge, the main pedestrian crossing between the two countries.
Other incidents also broke out in the morning when Venezuelan forces confronted a rally on the Francisco de Paola Santander bridge to the north, the border between Colombia’s Cucuta and the Venezuelan town of Ornia.
The protesters, many of whom wore white clothes, waved banners reading “Enter the right side of history”.
Both Guido and Maduro called on his supporters to come to the streets of Caracas to demand aid, and the second to denounce what he saw as “an attempt at military intervention”.
Hundreds of Maduro supporters dressed in red and waving flags of Venezuela demonstrated, saying that “90 percent of the people refuse to enter the United States” and chanted “Maduro people with you”.
Maduro announced the suspension of flights to the Dutch island of Curaçao in Antilles, one of the aid storage points, as well as the closure of the four main bridges with Colombia and land borders with Brazil.
Guido didn’t say when and how he intends to return to Venezuela where he could be arrested for violating an order banning him from pro-Maduro judicial leave.
The role of the military remains the decisive role in the confrontation more than ever before, while Colombian President Ivan Duque, who condemns the Maduro’s “dictatorship”, along with the Chilean President Sebastián Benireira who called on the military leadership in Venezuela to join the “right side of history”.
It’s worth mentioning that until it’s date, the humanitarian convey entry attempt has been failed to enter Venezuela.