The Venezuelan army led by socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro has blocked a border bridge with Colombia to prevent the delivery of aid to the country's hungry citizens.
What are the details?
Venezuela is in power struggle after the declaration of the National Assembly that Maduro is a usurper, and several countries – including the United States – now recognize the leader of the opposition, Juan Guaido, as the country of the country.
But Maduro still controls the army and uses it as a lever to maintain power. according to
the New York TimesMaduro "has long relied on food distribution to keep its political base faithful during the country's long economic meltdown," so aid shipments are seen as a threat to the dictator as he stands beats to defend himself from a coup d'etat.
Earlier this week, opposition leaders announced coordinated shipments of infant formula, medical supplies and food from the United States, Colombia and Venezuelans abroad.
CNN reported that Guaido "begs the army to let the goods enter the country, but President Nicolas Maduro [is] not having it, insisting "we are not beggars" "and refusing to accept charity.
The Times noted that there were other open border roads where vehicles could pass, calling the blockade a "mistrust of President Nicolas Maduro's government."
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted Wednesday an image of the blocked highway bridge, calling on Maduro to "let the help reach the hungry people."
The same day,
Reuters reported that the United Nations has warned against "the politicization of humanitarian aid to Venezuela". US spokesman Stéphane Dujarric told reporters in New York that "humanitarian action must be independent of any political, military or other objective".
"When we see the current impasse, it becomes even more obvious that serious political negotiations between the parties are needed to find a solution leading to a lasting peace for the people of Venezuela," said Dujarric. "What is important is that the humanitarian aid is de-politicized and that the needs of the population are crucial in terms of when and how humanitarian aid is used."