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23 Feb, 2019 18:32

Venezuelan government condemns US-orchestrated ‘propaganda show’ at Colombian border

Venezuelan government condemns US-orchestrated ‘propaganda show’ at Colombian border

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza has blasted the United States and Colombia for organizing a “propaganda show” at the country’s Colombian border. The border is currently the scene of a standoff over aid shipments.

“From the propaganda show organized at the border, the governments of the United States and Colombia have violated practically all the principles and purposes of the UN Charter,” Arreaza tweeted on Saturday. “The world community observes them and will take appropriate action within the UN.”

Truckloads of US-supplied humanitarian aid remain parked on the Colombian side of the border, after the Venezuelan government locked down crossing points on Friday night. Protesters have spontaneously clashed with government troops at the border, but Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro refuses to allow the convoys to enter, calling them a precursor to military invasion.

Rabidly anti-Maduro Senator Marco Rubio has visited the border to drum up support for regime change in Venezuela, as has US envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams, best known for smuggling weapons in aid shipments to Nicaragua’s right-wing Contras in the early 1980s.

Tweeting in Spanish, Rubio warned the Venezuelan military,the majority of whom remain loyal to Maduro, to lay down their arms. “Now is the time, tomorrow will be too late,” he said.

President Trump, who threw his support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido moments after Guaido declared himself interim president last month, was short on analysis and simply tweeted "God Bless the people of Venezuela!"

The United Nations has warned the US against using aid as a political pawn, and called for negotiations between Maduro and Guaido. “Humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military or other objectives,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York on Wednesday.

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