The command of the Venezuelan army announced the deployment of forces on the border with Colombia, according to the official Twitter of the military Department. It states that additional units were sent to the West of the country by order of the President Nicolas Maduro to “protect the peace after the border is closed”.
The sending of troops took place against the backdrop of statements by the opposition of its intention to begin deliveries of American humanitarian aid to Venezuela on February 23. Caracas categorically refuses to accept food and medicine from a neighboring country for fear that this may be an attempt to carry out a covert intervention to overthrow Maduro.
The speaker of the Venezuelan Parliament Joan Guaido arrived on the border. Thus he violated a court order prohibiting him from leaving the country.
The situation at the border remains extremely tense. According to Reuters, on Saturday a group of Venezuelans tried to break through the border to get to Colombia, but encountered resistance from border guards who used tear gas. It is indicated that the participants of the breakthrough immediately began to throw bottles and stones at the soldiers of the Venezuelan National Guard guarding the border, after which they used force.
It is also reported that four National Guard officers deserted and fled to Colombia, where they surrendered to the local police.