Venezuela’s Guaido Blasts Government Aid Blockade

Posted February 12, 2019

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro officially launched on Sunday the country's most large-scale military drills ever, according to a live broadcast of the event.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since January 10 when President Nicolas Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Nicolas Maduro continued to block the border crossing with Colombia where tons of food and medicine has been piling up.

Somewhat dodging the question about when the "free and fair" elections - so craved by some foreign states and others who believe Nicholas Maduro "usurped" power amid the oppositions' boycott of last year's polls - might take place, Guaido refused to name any specific dates.

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Armed military forces have continued to guard a blocked bridge between Venezuela and Colombia, cutting humanitarian aid off from the country.

"There are people responsible for this and the regime should know it", Guaido said after attending Sunday Mass. They have not yet announced how they plan for the aid to enter if the military does not consent.

"They are going inside Venezuela and they will have food and drugs".

It further "calls for the immediate start of a political process leading to free, fair and credible presidential elections, with worldwide electoral observation, in line with Venezuela's constitution". Colonel Paz, a doctor, urged soldiers to help the aid get into Venezuela.

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According to the United Nations, some 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015.

An worldwide Contact Group, made up of European and Latin American countries, called for snap presidential elections following a meeting in Montevideo this week. The European Union has encouraged member countries to recognize a new temporary government led by Guaido until new elections can be held.

Guaido, the 35 year-old head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, stunned Venezuela in January by declaring himself interim president after the legislature declared Maduro a "usurper" following his May 2018 reelection in a vote disputed by the opposition and worldwide community.

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