The socialist regime in Venezuela closed its land and air borders with neighboring countries on Wednesday to prevent the entry of U.S. humanitarian aid into the crisis-stricken country.
A government representative confirmed to CNN that military general and Maduro loyalist Vice Admiral Vladimir Quintero ordered the closure of both land and sea borders with Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and the Western state of Falcón, with no current date set for their reopening.
After rejecting aid from the U.S., Maduro announced this week that Russia would send 300 tonnes in humanitarian aid, despite refusing to acknowledge the existence of a humanitarian crisis in the country. In response to other aid sent by international groups and countries, Maduro has replied that Venezuela “is not a country of beggars.”
“We receive humanitarian support every day,” Maduro said on Monday. “On Wednesday, 300 tonnes of Russian humanitarian aid will be legally delivered to the international airport of Caracas.”
Maduro’s approach has failed to deter the opposition from trying to deliver aid into the country. The opposition, led by interim President Juan Guaidó, has enlisted 600,000 volunteers to ensure its safe delivery from border towns in Brazil and Colombia where it is currently being distributed.
Brazilian officials announced on Tuesday that they would defy Maduro’s attempts to block its entry and would deliver the aid into the country regardless.
“The Brazilian government is mobilizing an inter-ministerial taskforce to define the logistics of supplying humanitarian aid to the people of Venezuela from February 23,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Otavio de Rego Barros. “The aid, which includes food and medicine, will be made available in Brazilian territory for collection by the government of interim president Juan Guaido, with Venezuelan trucks driven by Venezuelans. ”
This week, President Donald Trump warned Maduro’s military allies that they would eventually “lose everything” if they fail to renounce Maduro while also blocking the aid from entering.
“Today I have a message for every official who is keeping Maduro in place,” he declared. “You cannot hide from the choice that now confronts you. You can choose to accept President Guaidó’s offer of amnesty and live your life in peace with your country. But you must not block humanitarian aid.”
“Or you can choose the second path; continuing to support Maduro,” he continued. “You will find no safe harbor, no easy exit, no way out. You will lose everything.”