Venezuela slams European Union countries for aligning with U.S.

Venezuela slams European Union countries for aligning with U.S.

Venezuela slams European Union countries for aligning with U.S.

With nearly no information about how aid will be distributed, the Cucuta crossing from Venezuela appeared to be quiet on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump plans to ramp up the pressure on Venezuela's embattled leader Nicolas Maduro in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, doubling down on USA support for his challenger Juan Guaido.

The bridge was blocked a day prior by the Venezuelan National Guard with a fuel tanker, two cargo trailers and makeshift fencing near the border town of Cucuta in Colombia.

"It's a means of intimidation, but I don't think it will accomplish anything", said Pereira, director of the nonprofit Entre Dos Tierras, which aids Venezuelans migrants.

The Cucuta crossing was mainly quiet on Tuesday, but police officials told Reuters that more migrants have been asking where humanitarian aid will be delivered.

Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran have said they see Maduro as the only legitimate leader and warned against meddling in Venezuela's domestic affairs.

Critics have called last year's disputed presidential vote in which Maduro won re-election a sham, and the mainstream opposition boycotted it.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the interim president of Venezuela, speaks during a press conference on the steps of the National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.

Venezuela's opposition-dominated congress on Tuesday said it will hold new elections as soon as possible within a year - once embattled President Nicolas Maduro is ousted from power.

Their meeting comes amid massive protests in Venezuela aimed at pressing Maduro, the country's socialist leader, to vacate the presidency.

Guaido has pleaded with the military, the key power behind Maduro's authority, not to block the aid, claiming that up to 300,000 people face death without it. "We have to come to buy food because we can not even get cooking oil and eggs in Venezuela".

Maduro, though, said humanitarian aid would be the forerunner of a US-led invasion, insisting that "no one will enter, not one invading soldier".

He said: "We are not beggars".

He thanked each European Union country in turn on Twitter "for supporting all Venezuelans in this struggle we undertake to rescue our nation's democracy, freedom and justice".

Maduro's government, overseeing an economic collapse that has prompted 3 million Venezuelans to flee the country, lashed out at the European Union nations for recognizing Guaido, accusing them of submitting to a USA "strategy to overthrow the legitimate government". The not a Lima Group member, but its denunciations of Maduro and its recognition of Guaido are viewed as being in lockstep with the coalition meeting in Ottawa, according to several government sources.

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