Venezuela: I won't let United States aid cross the border, says President Maduro

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Opposition leader Juan Guaido has declared himself interim president in Venezuela, a move recognized by several dozen countries, but Preside11:15 nt Nicolas Maduro is refusing to relinquish power.

Under Maduro's direction, Venezuela has descended into economic chaos marked by hyperinflation, recession and shortages of basic necessities, including food and medicine.

"Maduro has proven he will manipulate any calls for negotiations to his advantage and he has often used so-called dialogues as a way to play for time", he said.

The talks involve European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and are spearheaded by Mexico and Uruguay, two of the only Latin American countries not to have recognized Guaido other than Maduro allies such as Cuba. Guaido called upon the worldwide community for humanitarian aid.

"Any potential political use of humanitarian aid can generate risks, in particular for those the aid is meant to support", said the letter, signed by 15 non-governmental organizations, including Oxfam, Mercy Corps and Save the Children. The Venezuelan military has barricaded a bridge connecting the two nations with a tanker and two cargo trailers in an apparent attempt to block the aid.

However, on the other side of the Tienditas border bridge, Venezuelan troops loyal to Maduro had blocked the road, heightening tensions with Washington.

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A number of countries, including the United States, have accused Maduro of stealing the election.

"Brother, let the aid in".

Toledo on Friday appealed to the armed forces. Some Maduro critics say the Venezuelan people would welcome a USA led regional effort to force the entrenched leader from power.

Guadio is backed as the de facto leader by more than 40 nations, including the U.S. and major European powers, who want Maduro to step down.

Venezuela's Foreign Ministry has denounced any global support for Guaido, suggesting that European governments were acting as part of a US-led effort to topple Maduro, who has showed no signs of relinquishing power.

US President Donald Trump has imposed severe sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry and was the first recognise Guaido as Interim President within hours of his January 23 proclamation.

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CNN could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Maduro on Wednesday hit back at a tweet by USA national security adviser John Bolton that said "any Venezuelan senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido" would not face U.S. sanctions.

Venezuela's Constituent Assembly was established by Maduro in 2017 to replace the country's opposition-controlled National Assembly.

The contact group includes Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and co-host Uruguay. Opposition leaders said three countries in the region will become aid hubs and that some nations, like Colombia, will likely have more than one collection site. However, it remains unclear if aid will be allowed in by any of these routes.

Offers of humanitarian assistance are coming in from around the world.

Opening a session in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a contribution of 53 million Canadian dollars ($40.4 million) in aid to Venezuela. "There is no plan B. The only plan is the definite change in Venezuela", he said. "Humanitarian aid now. United public outcry".

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Abrams continued to call for Maduro to hand off the reins, saying it does not matter where the Venezuelan president goes, as long as he is no longer at the helm of the South American nation.

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