CARACAS – The humanitarian aid that is being stockpiled in the Colombian border city of Cucuta will begin entering Venezuela in the “coming days,” the head of the opposition-controlled Parliament and the country’s interim president, Juan Guaido, said on Sunday.
“The aid is ... at the collection centers and we expect that in the coming days we’ll have the first entry” into Venezuela, the interim president, who is recognized as the country’s legitimate leader by dozens of nations around the world, said to reporters after attending Sunday Mass in Caracas.
In addition to the aid collection activities in Cucuta, “in kind” humanitarian aid of various sorts has begun to be collected at two other sites – one in Brazil and another on an as-yet-unspecified Caribbean island.
It is forecast that the medicine and food being collected in Cucuta will enter Venezuela via the Tienditas bridge, a modern structure that links the two nations.
However, members of the Bolivarian National Guard – the GNB, Venezuela’s militarized police – blocked the bridge using three large truck trailers, thus preventing vehicles from crossing from Colombia.
Guaido said that Venezuela’s leftist incumbent President Nicolas Maduro “refuses to acknowledge the crisis that they created.”
In that regard, he emphasized that Venezuelans must work “very hard ... so that the usurpation (of power by Maduro) ends” and “simultaneously attend to the emergency.”
Therefore, he said that blocking the entry of humanitarian aid makes the Maduro government into “almost a genocidal” regime because “they’re murdering by action and by omission.”
Guaido also rejected “the possibility of a confrontation among Venezuelans who want to save lives” and those people “an ever lesser number of them, who would prohibit the entry of humanity” into the current situation.
Once again, he sent a message to the military and expressed his doubts about whether “anyone today wants to sacrifice themselves to adhere to the call by a person (Maduro) who has lost his bearings and who has no international support.”
He added that “the Venezuelan army is an army that liberates nations” and lamented “what they are allowing to happen to the armed forces at this time,” especially because the military uniform “was one of honor, pride, significance for the region and for Venezuelans.”
“It’s up to you not to continue doing ridiculous things like Miraflores (presidential palace) is ordering. But rather to validate the pride of the uniform. It’s up to you whether (the uniform) recovers the luster, the honor and the sympathy of millions of Venezuelans,” he said.
Guaido also emphasized that it is “very clear” that “civility ... without doubt will support the entry of the humanitarian aid.”
Also on Sunday, Guaido said that his wife’s grandmother was intimidated by “collectives,” as the armed civilian paramilitary organizations that support Maduro’s Chavista government are known.
“On (Saturday), in Tovar, where my daughter Miranda’s great-grandmother lives, Fabiana’s grandmother, several collectives were ordered to go to (her) house,” Guaido told reporters in Caracas at the close of the Sunday Mass.