Possible US aggression against Venezuela can not be justified - Maduro

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro

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

Scott noted Cuba had sent military troops to Venezuela to defend Maduro.

The aid, which arrived in Cucuta on Thursday, includes flour, lentils, rice and cooking oil as well as personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap, Colombian, Venezuelan and USA officials told reporters.

"The package is very nice on the outside: humanitarian aid".

On Thursday, Venezuelan Minister of Communications Jorge Rodriguez claimed he presented "proof" of what he called a US-backed coup attempt against Maduro's government in January.

"If they dare to keep blocking the routes, and creating obstacles to the lives of Venezuelans, we'll go to open them, with the people, the security forces", Guaido said. "If it wasn't for the Cuban thugs that are there taking care of Maduro, Maduro would already be gone".

They want to invade and intervene in Venezuela - they say, as they said then - in the name of democracy and freedom. The sanctions freeze $7 billion in US -based assets and target $11 billion of USA revenue to Venezuela's national oil company.

China is a close ally of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, to whom it has lent billions to help shore up his embattled regime. But it is not clear when or whether the aid will reach people inside the country.

Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $140 million-including almost $97 million in humanitarian assistance, and approximately $43 million in development and economic assistance-to support the generous efforts of affected countries to host displaced Venezuelans.

But Maduro is still in control of the military and is using it as leverage to maintain power. The world watches now whether Maduro's government will let the first shipments from United States cross its borders. He argues Maduro was re-elected a year ago in a sham election.

Last month, the 35-year-old Guaido was named leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly.

When asked how US aid might make it into Venezuela, a spokesman for the US Agency for International Development said the United States was working with Guaido on a plan, but did not disclose any details.

-Question: Would you receive emissaries of the International Contact Group seeking a negotiated solution? "You're deaf... They've taken extremist positions".

The U.S. has revoked visas for members of Venezuela's Constituent Assembly amid an ongoing push to ramp up pressure on Caracas, the special envoy for Venezuela said Thursday.

Maduro, who last weekend rejected an European Union ultimatum to organise snap presidential elections, fumed: "You don't listen to the truth in Venezuela".

"The body has usurped numerous constitutional powers of the legitimate National Assembly and embodies Maduro's destruction of democratic institutions", Abrams told reporters.

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