Urena, Venezuela: Even as the first load of humanitarian aid from the Brazilian government arrived in Venezuela from Pacaraima on Saturday, President Nicolas Maduro’s security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets on a crowd awaiting the distribution of humanitarian aid at the Venezuela-Colombia border.
Tensions spiked and turned violent ahead of the Opposition’s deadline to bring in food and medical aid as supporters of Opposition leader Juan Guaido in Colombia planned to cross the border carrying emergency supplies into Venezuela.
“We want to work!” people chanted as they faced Venezuelan National Guard riot police blocking the crossing at the Urena border bridge to Colombia, one of several ordered closed Mr Maduro late Friday. In the confusion, four National Guard members abandoned their posts and crossed into Colombia. The aid, including food and medicine, is desperately needed in Venezuela, where conditions have grown steadily worse in recent months. Inflation has skyrocketed, hunger is endemic, and hospitals are without medicine.
More than three million people have fled the country, many on foot, sparking a regional migration crisis.