Eerie photo sums up humanitarian crisis facing starving Venezuela

Protesters gathered outside the Bank of England today calling for the return of Venezuelan gold

Protesters gathered outside the Bank of England today calling for the return of Venezuelan gold

But it is not clear when or whether the aid will reach people inside the country.

The arrival of the aid convoy, which includes supplies provided by the United States, has increased the pressure on Maduro after Washington as well as nations from across Latin America and Europe recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the rightful interim ruler of Venezuela.

The visa revocations come amid Washington's continued diplomatic and economic push to force Maduro to cede power to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido, who declared himself interim president on January 23. "The proof is so obvious that there are no more doubts even in the United States".

"We'll do everything we have to in a sovereign and autonomous manner to achieve an end to the usurpation, a transitional government and free elections", he said.

"The aid is going to be backed by popular support, by hundreds and thousands of people who need it", he said.

"There's an attempt to violate our national sovereignty with this "show" of a humanitarian operation by the government of Donald Trump", he said.

The aid seems unlikely to move into Venezuela.

The bridge, which connects Cucuta and the city of Urena in Venezuela, remains blocked after the Venezuelan military, earlier this week, placed cargo containers and a tanker lorry across the road surface.

The official declined to provide details on the discussions or the level at which they are being held, and it was unclear whether such contacts could create cracks in the Venezuelan socialist leader's support from the military, which is pivotal to his grip on power.

It's unclear what will break the standoff playing out at the Venezuela-Colombia border.

But the aid blockade could lead to troops disobeying Maduro's orders and allowing the much-needed aid to pass.

"Brother, let the aid in".

This is an opportunity for the Venezuelan armed forces to take part in an admirable humanitarian campaign.

Some anti-Maduro leaders are jailed and others have fled Venezuela fearing for their safety.

He blamed shortages of food and medicine on USA sanctions, which mostly target regime individuals as well as state oil company PDVSA.

Last week Reuters reported that senior United States government officials are in direct talks with the country's military to convince them to back Guaido, who has offered soldiers amnesty to work against the Maduro government.

Maduro said blocking the OPEC nation's oil shipments would be economically and socially "catastrophic" for the country, adding that anyone who accepted a nomination from Guaido to posts at PDVSA or Citgo would 'face justice'. Several other countries - including Russian Federation and Turkey - are backing Maduro as the legitimately elected president, and have denounced Washington's actions as attempts to foment a coup.

The country won't easily be able to find alternative markets for its oil exports, now that its access to the USA payment system has been cut off, and risks starvation in the near future, Rodriguez said.

"Venezuela's affairs should be resolved by its people within the framework of the constitution and the law through peaceful dialogue and political channels", Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a statement late Friday.

Maduro still has the support of the military high command, and now routinely appears in pre-recorded events at military bases where officers stand behind him and chant triumphal slogans such as "Loyal always, traitors never".

Spain, Italy, Portugal were among European nations signing the declaration with Uruguay, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

The director of the Colombian emergency department, Eduardo Jose Gonzales Angulo, said the delivery of aid was a five-stage process but that the final two stages - moving the aid to the border and distributing it within the country - would be up to Guaido and his team.

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