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LatinNews Regional Monitor: Andean Group - 22 February 2019

VENEZUELA: Showdown over aid looms

The intensity of the verbal sparring in Venezuela is escalating ahead of the impending arrival of humanitarian aid. As we go to press Juan Guaidó, the widely recognised interim president, is visiting the border with Colombia near the city of Cúcuta, one of three designated points of entry for essential food and medicine on 23 February. Guaidó is urging the Venezuelan armed forces to lift the blockade of the border ordered by the government led by Nicolás Maduro, while US President Donald Trump threatened the military with “losing everything” unless it allows the aid in and switches allegiance. Maduro denounced a foreign military invasion, lurched from an insistence that Venezuela does not need humanitarian aid to announcing its arrival from Russia, and then challenged Guaidó to “call elections”.

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