Venezuela Crisis: Nicolas Maduro Closes Venezuela’s Border With Brazil to Block Aid – Colombian Crossings May Be Next

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Mr. Guaidó declared himself interim leader last month and won backing from the USA and some European nations. That led to the crisis as Maduro ordered to block borders.

Nexter.org tells what countries recognized him as a president and why Russia strongly support Maduro.

Source: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Closing borders

Nicolas Maduro will close Venezuela’s border with Brazil, as tensions over foreign aid deliveries rise. Maduro went on TV to say he was also considering shutting the key border with Colombia to stop the opposition bringing in relief.

“I don’t want to make such a decision, but I am considering it – an absolute closure of the border with Colombia,” he said. “We have taken all the measures so that everything can be peaceful,” he added.

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Source: AP

 

He denies any crisis and calls the aid delivery plans a US-orchestrated show.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is leading a convoy from the capital, Caracas, to the Colombian border.

Later on Friday, a concert will be held on the Colombian side of the border to raise money for Venezuela. At the same time, Mr Maduro’s government will hold its own event, reportedly just 300m (980ft) away.

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Source: AP

 

Venezuela has already closed its air and maritime borders with Curacao, Guaido’s third declared collection point for humanitarian aid, as well as the islands of Aruba and Bonaire.

Humanitarian aid crisis

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.

Earlier on Tuesday 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 tweet, Mr Pompeo demanded Mr Maduro let the aid through.

“The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE,” the post reads.

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Guaido, who proclaimed himself acting president on January 23 – sparking an international crisis – claims that up to 300,000 people face death if the aid is not delivered.

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Source: AFP

 

“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,” lawmaker Miguel Pizarro said in a message to the military.

Maduro, though, said humanitarian aid would be the forerunner of a US-led invasion, insisting that “no one will enter, not one invading soldier.”

Which European countries recognize Juan Guaidó as interim leader?

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Source: Getty Images

 

Venezuela has faced a political crisis as a succession of world powers declared they were recognising the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the rightful interim president of Venezuela.

European countries including the UK, Spain, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, France, Sweden and Denmark have all recognised Juan Guaidó as interim president of Venezuela.

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The support was a coordinated move made after a deadline for Nicolás Maduro to call presidential elections expired.

Mr Maduro later said: “We don’t accept ultimatums from anyone. I refuse to call for elections now – there will be elections in 2024. We don’t care what Europe says.”

Fun fact

Some users noticed that Instagram has apparently stripped Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro of his “verified” status, while Juan Guaidó has the blue check mark.

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As Instagram lately explained, “Nicolás Maduro was not verified on Instagram, and we did not remove verification from his account.”

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Who is more legitimate, Mr. Maduro or Mr. Guaidó?

There is no one litmus test for political legitimacy, which can come from a few different sources. Both Mr. Maduro and Mr. Guaidó have debatable claims to legitimacy, which is part of what makes this so messy.

If Mr. Maduro cannot represent himself as legitimate abroad, then he will look less legitimate at home, which invites citizens and political officials to reject him as well.

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Source: Getty Images

 

Why Russia support Maduro and what it will lose if he’ll leave

The Kremlin has accused the opposition leader Juan Guaidó of an “illegal attempt to seize power”, backed by the United States. Moscow says it will do “everything required” to support Nicolás Maduro as Venezuela’s “legitimate president”.

  • Moscow has long been a key ally of President Maduro, and Hugo Chávez before him – as fierce critics of Washington, right in America’s backyard.

“The relationship is symbolically important. It’s about saying ‘we’re not alone, there are others who are very critical of the US and Western policy’,” explains Andrei Kortunov of the Russian International Affairs Council.

That’s partly why Moscow has expanded co-operation with Caracas in recent years – increasing arms sales, extending credit and even flying in two bombers last December in a show of support.

  • Moscow also has money at stake.

It has sunk significant amounts into backing Nicolás Maduro, much of that in loans it stands to lose if he is forced from office. nalysts talk of $17bn, mostly dished out in credit to the Maduro government.

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Source: Getty Images

 

  • Venezuela sits on the largest proven oil reserves in the world

“When we sent weapons, no-one thought of collecting the debt. What was really in mind, I think, was access to the oil wells, to production,” argues Carnegie Centre economist Andrei Movchan.

Russia’s state-owned firm, Rosneft, now has stakes in multiple projects in Venezuela and has issued significant loans to the country’s oil giant, PDVSA.

  • A black hole for Russia’

But whilst state television programmes here have been blasting headlines, slamming the US “intervening in the affairs of a sovereign state”, others have been questioning the wisdom of Russia’s own Venezuela policy.

“Venezuela is a black hole for Russia, where billions of dollars have been sunk… and the effect is zero,” analyst Mikhail Krutikin told Kommersant newspaper. He talked of “utter incompetence and squandering.”


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Venezuela Crisis: Nicolas Maduro Closes Venezuela's Border With Brazil to Block Aid - Colombian Crossings May Be Next
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Venezuela Crisis: Nicolas Maduro Closes Venezuela's Border With Brazil to Block Aid - Colombian Crossings May Be Next
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Mr. Guaidó declared himself interim leader last month and won backing from the USA, which European nations have now chosen to follow. Nexter.org tells what countries recognized him as a president and why Russia strongly support Maduro.
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