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Pompeo demands that Venezuela let in US aid


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo(R) shakes hands with Colombian Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo prior to a meeting at the State Department in Washington, DC, February 5, 2019. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday demanded that Venezuela’s military let in US-backed humanitarian aid, which President Nicolas Maduro has alleged is a pretext to invasion.

“The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The US and other countries are trying to help, but Venezuela’s military under Maduro’s orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers,” Pompeo tweeted.

“The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE,” Pompeo wrote, using capital letters for emphasis.

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has been recognized as interim president by the United States and major Latin American and European countries — has been trying to bring in assistance led by Washington with Brazil and Colombia.

But Venezuelan military officers blocked a bridge on the Colombian border, with Maduro insisting that “no one will enter, not one invading soldier.”

US President Donald Trump has not ruled out a military intervention in Venezuela, where Maduro’s leftist regime presides over a crumbling economy that has sent millions fleeing to neighboring countries.

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