Venezuelan military officers blocked a bridge on the border with Colombia ahead of an anticipated humanitarian aid shipment, as opposition leader Juan Guaido stepped up his challenge to President Nicolas Maduro's authority, AFP reported on Wednesday, February 6th.
On Tuesday, February 5th, the opposition-dominated National Assembly had warned the armed forces, which make up much of Maduro's power base, not to cross a "red line" by blocking aid.
In a message to the military, lawmaker Miguel Pizarro said: "You know there's a red line, you know well there's a limit, you know that medicines, food and medical supplies are that limit."
The opposition leader Guaido, who proclaimed himself acting president on January 23rd, claimed that up to 300,000 people face death if the aid is not delivered. The aid delivery was being coordinated by Guaido.
However, President Maduro said humanitarian aid would be the forerunner of a US-led invasion, insisting that "no one will enter, not one invading soldier.”
According to AFP, Venezuelan military officers used a tanker truck and huge shipping container to block access to the Tienditas bridge, which links Cucuta, Colombia to Urena, Venezuela.
Franklyn Duarte, an opposition lawmaker from the border state of Tachira, confirmed to AFP that troops from the armed forces were blocking the crossing.