China backs multinational efforts, calls for talks to end Venezuela crisis

Hugh Fox
February 10, 2019

But according to Al Jazeera, the Colombian government has said the supplies shown to the press on Friday will only be distributed inside Venezuela, meaning they would have to break through a blockade put up by the Venezuelan military to prevent the passage of both civilian and military vehicles.

With the Venezuelan military still apparently loyal to Maduro, a source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking. The US is also reportedly holding direct communications with members of Venezuela's military, urging them to switch their allegiance in exchange for sanctions relief, or to face even stronger penalties. "But on the inside it brings the poison of humiliation", Maduro said on Friday.

The aid consisted of locally bought food products, and nutritional supplements and medical kits flown in from the USA and Indonesia, according to the embassy.

On Friday, Guaido urged his supporters to stay in the streets and protest until the "usurper" Maduro lets the convoy with US-sent aid, which is now sitting in a warehouse at the Colombian border, cross into Venezuela.

Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey stood up for Maduro's support.

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The former political prisoner, who lives with his family in an upscale Caracas suburb and spoke exclusively to The Post last week, refused to be identified for fear of being rounded up by roving bands of paramilitaries sent by "an increasingly desperate Maduro" to crack down on opposition, he said.

"This is a macabre game: we squeeze them by the neck and make them ask for crumbs".

It was not immediately clear how the humanitarian aid would be delivered across the border.

Early Wednesday, a Venezuelan military boat carrying 100 tons (tonnes) of aid landed in Havana to help Cubans recovering from the wrath of a tornado.

He has dismissed Maduro as illegitimate over his reelection last May in polls branded a fraud by the US, EU and many Latin American countries.

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Guaido is trying to force Maduro from power, aiming to set up a transitional government and hold presidential elections.

Consultants Eurasia Group said on Thursday that Maduro's traditonal allies Russian Federation and China are "unlikely to lend (him) meaningful support", reinforcing its view that the socialist leader "will be unable to sustain his regime".

The report comes after the European Union and a group of Latin American governments which kept a moderate line following the political crisis which has engulfed Venezuela called for dialogue and fresh elections.

The EU-backed International Contact Group on Venezuela in its inaugural meeting in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo this week said overly forceful intervention could aggravate the crisis. "You're deaf... They've taken extremist positions".

The decision by PDVSA came after Citgo reported of facing financial problems and plunging exports following the imposition of tough sanctions on the oil company by the Donald Trump-led U.S. government, on Friday.

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