Tensions were high along Venezuela’s borders after clashes protesting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s decision not to allow humanitarian aid into the country for millions of vulnerable citizens.
The situation was complicated by politics: Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself interim president and has the backing of 50 governments around the world, has been supporting the influx of aid, including aid staged at the Colombia-Venezuela border by the United States.
Presidents and vice presidents of 14 countries, including US Vice President Mike Pence, were meeting in Bogota, Colombia, on Monday, to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. At the border crossing in Pacaraima, Brazil, two trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossed into Venezuela on Saturday, but were stopped by the Venezuelan military.
On Sunday, the Brazilian government issued a statement saying the two trucks had returned to Pacaraima, unable to deliver the aid. The Brazilian government, however, pledged to try the crossing once again as soon as Venezuela’s “diplomatic situation” is resolved.
At least two indigenous Venezuelans were killed by Venezuelan security forces along the border with Brazil. But the situation was worse along the border with Colombia. Two people were killed, and Colombia’s foreign minister said 285 people were injured and 37 hospitalised on the Colombian side of the border after clashes between supporters Guaido supporters and Venezuelan military blocking aid on Saturday.
Photo: Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido take part in a rally in Caracas on Saturday, to demand President Nicolas Maduro allow humanitarian aid to enter the country.