Blocking aid a crime against humanity: Venezuelan opposition
February 11, 2019 | 6:39 PM
by Times News Service
Juan Guaidó, self-declared interim President and head of the National Assembly/ Photo: Twitter

Muscat: Blocking humanitarian aid is a crime against humanity, Venezuelan opposition leader has warned.

Speaking to the press, self-declared interim President and head of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó said, "There are people responsible for this and the regime should know it."

"This a crime against humanity, men of the armed forces."

"Venezuelans," he said, "will continue to mobilise to save lives with humanitarian assistance."

The warning came as medicine and food sent by the US have taken centre stage in a test of will between Guaido and disputed President Nicolas Maduro. The aid has been stuck for over three days on the border of Cucuta after Venezuelan soldiers blocked a bridge linking the two countries.

Guaidó's comments were echoed by US Senator Marco Rubio, who stated, "By blocking aid to the Venezuelan people Maduro is committing a crime against humanity.

"And military leaders in Venezuela who carry out this order are disqualifying themselves from any sanctions relief or Post-Maduro US backed guarantees," he warned.

Opposition figure Julio Borges, who also serves as one of Guaidó's ambassadors, added, "Maduro... doesn’t care about human dignity, about the human condition, and right now, he is stopping the humanitarian help we are starting to receive from the United States.”

Members of the armed forces of Venezuela used trucks and shipping containers to prevent any aid from entering. Maduro has claimed the aid is part of a political ploy.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded to the developments by saying, "As Juan Guaidó said, Maduro will no longer be able to rob the people of Venezuela of their dreams and opportunities. That's why the US is answering his call by sending humanitarian aid to a warehouse in Colombia on Venezuela's border to help the people Maduro has starved."

He was joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in condemning the blockage of aid. Pelosi stated, "Nicolas Maduro’s regime of repression and impoverishment for his personal enrichment continues to gravely violate human rights, and must be condemned swiftly by the full international community. "

"His recent decision to block bridges and cut off channels of food and supplies imperils the health and futures of the Venezuelan people, and must be immediately reversed."

Pressure is mounting on Maduro to leave office, with the US, Canada, Spain, France, the UK, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Argentina all recognising Guaidó.

Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Holmes Trujillo predicted Maduro's time was up, comparing his regime to the Berlin Wall.

"Look at how the Berlin Wall collapsed due to the force of people who wanted freedom. Without a shot. In a process that was produced by an accumulation of longing for freedom and democracy. The same thing is happening in Venezuela," he declared.

Meanwhile, Maduro maintains the backing of Russia, China, and Turkey.

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