The US President Donald Trump threatened Venezuelan military heavy consequences if they continue to support the head of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro.
“If you decide on this path, you will not escape responsibility, you will not find an easy way out and you will not be able to escape, you will lose everything,” said the head of the White House on Monday, February 18, speaking in Miami to Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants. The live broadcast of his speech could be seen on Twitter.
As Trump said, “we are looking for opportunities for a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open.” He demanded that the Venezuelan army immediately let trucks with humanitarian aid across the border. About 200 tons of food, food additives, medicines and toiletries were collected in the US and Puerto Rico and detained on the border of Colombia and Venezuela, says dpa.
Dispute over humanitarian aid
Humanitarian aid was prepared at the call of the interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido, who said that hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have lost their lives or are risking their lives because of lack of food and medicines. Guaido called on members of the Armed forces of Venezuela “to stand on the side of the Constitution” and not to impede the delivery of humanitarian aid.
On February 10, the US state Department announced “the arrival of the first batch of emergency aid for Venezuelans in the Colombian city of Kukuta”. In turn, Maduro rejects aid from the United States, fearing that its supply will be a pretext for armed intervention. On his orders, Venezuelan soldiers blocked the border crossing near Kukuta.
Earlier, on February 3, President Trump in an interview with CBS called the possible sending of American soldiers to Venezuela one of the options.
In May 2018, Venezuela held presidential elections. According to the country’s CEC, Nicolas Maduro won, gaining about 70 percent of the vote. His inauguration took place on January 10, 2019. On January 22, protests against Maduro began in Caracas and other cities of the country. A day later the President of the National Assembly of Venezuela Juan Guaido declared himself the acting President. The USA and 52 countries of the world recognized him as the legitimate leader of the state.