Several US military transport planes carrying humanitarian aid designated for Venezuelans landed instead in the Colombian border city of Cucuta on February 16th, where food and medicine are being stored amidst uncertainty over how and where this aid will be distributed.
The Venezuelans are going through a crisis of their own, facing loss of access to food and medicine, since the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, declared himself interim president, defying the current President, Nicolas Maduro. This was meant to be the second large-scale aid shipment from the US to Venezuela.
Last month Guaido invoked the constitution and declared himself the country's leader, arguing that Maduro's 2018 re-election was a sham. Guaido has declared aid will enter Venezuela on February 23rd. However, it remains uncertain if Maduro, who called the aid a US-orchestrated show and denied any crisis, will allow the supplies to cross into the country.
Reuters was informed by a US official that the aid delivered on February 16th allegedly amounted to more than 200 tonnes but a US embassy representative said they had no measurements of the size of the shipment. Meanwhile, Colombian President, Ivan Duque, who has described Maduro as a dictator, has said repeatedly that aid will not be distributed within Colombia, only Venezuela.