Troops fire tear gas at residents on Venezuela border

Troops fire tear gas at residents on Venezuela border

Since Wednesday, Maduro troops have been preventing the entry of US humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Brazil and other neighboring countries friendly to the United States.

Meanwhile, employing a less violent means of protest, supporters and opponents of the Maduro government are facing off against each other this weekend in a 'battle of the bands'.

"This government is going to fall", people began chanting, in reference to Maduro's government.

The aid consists of food kits "containing rice, beans, sugar, and salt to feed almost 3,500 people for 10 days and additional rice to feed an estimated 6,100 people for one month", a fact sheet from the State Department says.

We officially announce that the first shipment of humanitarian aid has now entered our border with Brazil.

On Feb. 23, the opposition will try to mobilize Venezuelan volunteers dressed in white to carry aid into Venezuela against Maduro's wishes.

As head of the opposition-led National Assembly, Guaido invoked the constitution to declare himself interim president after saying Maduro's reelection previous year was a sham.

Ms Zakharova said: "It seems that in Washington there is nothing to mark the fifth anniversary of the coup d'etat in Ukraine, so they made a decision to hold a new coup d'etat".

Three trucks were driven onto the bridge from the Colombian side and across the border river, according to images from the scene.

"What we did today, we did for our families, for the Venezuelan people", said one of the defectors in a video televised by a Colombian news program, which did not identify them. "Now is the time for Venezuelan military allow to aid through the border".

Russian's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has claimed the United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies are discussing plans on how to arm the opposition in Venezuela and oust Mr Maduro from presidency.

Elsewhere, Venezuelan National Guard forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at several crossing points on the Colombia border, pinning down demonstrators seeking to reach humanitarian aid stockpiled on the other side.

President Nicolas Maduro has ordered Venezuela's armed forces to block the aid from crossing into the country, as the embattled president denies that Venezuela suffers from widespread shortages of food and medicine.

Having crossed into Colombia early on Saturday, Guaido briefly boarded one of the trucks as they set off towards the border, carrying 600 tons of nutritional supplements, medicine, and hygiene products into the poverty-stricken country.

Guaido, the 35-year-old president of Venezuela's National Assembly, declared himself the country's interim leader in January as conditions deteriorated under socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in a tweet late on Friday that Venezuela's government shut the Tachira border that connects it with Cucuta temporarily "due to a series of illegal threats" by Colombia.

Reacting to Maduro's decision, Colombia's Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said Bogota did not recognise the "legitimacy" of the Venezuelan leader but would withdraw its diplomatic staff from Caracas as soon as possible in order to protect their "life and integrity". On stage, she sang her signature song, "Me Fui", Spanish for "I left", which has become the unofficial anthem of Venezuelans who have fled their country's economic implosion.

Maduro's rival concert, decidedly smaller and featuring Cuban and local artists, began hours later nearby on the Venezuelan side of the border in Urena.

"We don't want to be interfered with, we don't want to be invaded", said Johana Suarez.

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