Venezuelan opposition welcomes Canada's call for military backing

Wilmer Guiado the taxi driving father of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado

Wilmer Guiado the taxi driving father of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guiado

Franklin Graham, chief executive of relief group Samaritan's Purse and the son of renowned Christian evangelist Billy Graham, said until humanitarian groups had access inside Venezuela, most aid likely would remain outside.

Mr Maduro has said the aid will be turned away by his the army, while Mr Guaido has called on the troops to allow it in to help struggling citizens. Maduro argues Venezuela isn't a nation of "beggars" and has long rejected receiving humanitarian assistance, equating it to a foreign intervention.

Looking up at the giant containers blocking the bridge Wednesday, aid worker Alba Pereira shook her head and dismissed the barricade as another government ploy.

His hardline position is at odds with poverty-stricken Venezuelans when have been hit hardest by the country's economic collapse.

According to South American publication, El Periodico, Gutteres announced his support for the dialogue, while maintaining his neutral stance regarding the situation in the Latin American nation, which was brought about when the United States recognized Juan Guaido, as Venezuela's "self-appointed" interim president. No details have been released on exactly how the opposition plans to get the shipments into Venezuela.

A senior US administration official said it was up to Guaido to decide when and how to move the supplies into the country.

"What we have seen in recent weeks, with thousands of people taking to the streets to defy the Maduro dictatorship, is a united people standing as one to say: enough", she said.




Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded deliveries be let through to "reach the starving people".

At the same time, the group welcomed into the Lima Group Guaido's "legitimate government of Venezuela" and vowed to "recognize and work with" his representatives in their respective countries.

Venezuela's pro-democracy movement has welcomed the decision by Canada and its allies to urge its country's military to switch allegiance and support opposition leader Juan Guaido as the true leader of their country.

"From today, we will spare no effort in helping all Venezuelans achieve freedom, prosperity and harmony", said Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish prime minister.

Mr. Guaido is in a leadership showdown with socialist President Nicolas Maduro, whose regime has been accused of crimes against humanity, including ordering the military to commit extrajudicial killings and use excessive force against protesters.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said the worldwide community should help support Guaido by trying to block Maduro's government from foreign business transactions involving oil, gold and other assets.

Emergency talks at the headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington will also be held on February 14 to help deliver aid to the country's population facing major shortages of food and medicine.

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