Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

Russian Federation volunteers to 'help' resolve Venezuela crisis, warns against U.S. meddling

Russian Federation volunteers to 'help' resolve Venezuela crisis, warns against U.S. meddling

The dramatic rise in inflation was driven by the strengthening of the United States economic sanctions on the country last month, as well as the refusal by President Nicolas Maduro's administration to accept humanitarian aid from Western nations.

Aid workers remain unable to provide healthcare professionals in the country with emergency medical resources because Maduro - who is no longer legally president of the country but still controls the military - ordered soldiers to blockade the bridge that connects Venezuela to Colombia.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido said Monday that his team had delivered its first round of humanitarian aid amid objections from President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reports.

Guaido's envoys met Brazilian officials in Brasilia on Monday and announced plans to establish a second aid storage center in the state of Roraima, on Venezuela's southeastern border, from next week.

Last week, two USA trucks carrying food and medical supplies arrived at Venezuela's border, according to a United States official in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

Guaido has won backing from almost 50 countries worldwide, including the United States, which has pledged an initial $20 million in support and has already shipped emergency food and medicine to the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where it sits in a warehouse.

Maduro denies that any "humanitarian crisis" exists in his country, attributing severe lack of basic food and products to U.S. sanctions.

He also voiced against U.S. President Donald Trump, "get out Donald Trump, get out his threats", Maduro said.

The Venezuelan military, which has remained loyal to the government, is now carrying out large-scale drills across the country to bolster its combat readiness for any possible invasion.

Meanwhile, Lester Toledo, coordinator of global humanitarian aid for the opposition, told Reuters on Monday he received approval from the Netherlands to speak with the local governments of Aruba and Curacao about setting up an aid centre there.

Salvini telephoned Guaido while the Venezuelan delegation was visiting him, stressing his opposition to Maduro and support for a new vote, his office said. Mr Guaido has said the armed forced will allow the much-needed aid to enter the country. "We lack the factor that ultimately sustains dictatorships, which is the Armed Forces", he added.

The announcement earned immediate praise from US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who hailed the Jewish state for "standing with the people of Venezuela and the forces of freedom and democracy". "We don't need a building to be an embassy", she said at a news conference at Brazil's Foreign Ministry.

"There are people responsible for this and the regime should know it", Guaido said after attending Sunday Mass.

"We want everything to go as quickly as possible, but holding elections in a month is impossible". "We are motivated by work, production, and growth of our economy".

Venezuela's financial accountability authority announced a probe into Guaido's income on Monday, saying he had "allegedly. received money from global and national bodies without any justification". "We are being used to keep them in power".

More than 40 percent of Venezuela's oil, which makes up 96 percent of its revenue, is sold to the US.

Pope Francis has said he would also be prepared to mediate but Guaido has rejected negotiations with Maduro, believing he would use them to buy time.

Maduro is refusing to step down or call for a new election, accusing the USA of orchestrating a coup attempt.

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