As of February 8, the Venezuelan government under President Maduro has been blocking aide due to a standoff with political opposition leader and interim President Juan Guaido.
Since January of 2019 Juan Guiado became self declared president Venezuela after invoking a constitutional rule that allows him to challenge Maduros presidency. He gained recognition from many countries such as the U.S., Australia, Canada, and a majority of the EU. U.S. national security adviser John Bolton commented in support of Guiado saying, “any Venezuelan senior military officer that stands for democracy and recognizes the constitutional government of President Juan Guaido would not face U.S. sanctions.”
Together, the countries sent $60 million dollars in aide, with $40 million given by Canada. President Maduro, on the other hand, has called for Venezuelans to deny any and all international aide, saying that this his country is not a country of “beggars”, and that, “‘The humanitarian aid is a show to humiliate us and is intended to justify military aggression. A macabre plan which does not hide the robbery of more than $10 billion from our nation by the United States. If they want to help, they must stop the blockade, the persecution, and the aggression against Venezuela.”’ The Maduro government also released several propaganda which, according to the Washington Post, depicts foreigners as “…lust filled ‘peacekeepers’ on their way to rape through Venezuela.”
In order to block off aide, Maduro blocked off the Tienditas International Bridge, which serves as a point of contact between Colombia and Venezuela. The bridge is split into three parts, with each respective part being blocked off by fencing, trailers, and tanks. Maduro also severed any ties between Venezuela and Colombia after the President Dique backed Guiado.
The aide is very important because hyperinflation in the Venezuelan economy has left many people without food, water, and medicine due to the increase in prices of these basic necessities. Despite the aggression Maduro has met Guiado with, he still remains confident that his plan to bring in humanitarian aide will succeed because the plan is “about saving lives”.