Sat, 29 Feb 2020

Caracas [Venezuela], Feb 24 (ANI): Venezuela's embattled President Nicolas Maduro has reaffirmed that he is still "governing" the nation and will continue doing so, despite self-proclaimed President Juan Guaido claiming that international aid had entered Venezuelan territory on Saturday amid violence at Urena and Gran Sabana.

"I am steady as never before, firm like this tree, governing this country now and within many (upcoming) years," Sputnik quoted Maduro as saying to his followers on Saturday.

The statement comes in the wake of raging violence in the border city of Urena, where a group of Venezuelans is ushering international aid into the Latin American nations despite Maduro's blockade of humanitarian aid.

The military had earlier resorted to using tear gas and firing rubber bullets to disperse the crowd of protesters at Urena, a few amongst whom demanded to go to Colombia for work.

"The usurping regime uses the vilest acts and tries to burn the truck with humanitarian aid that is in Ure

a. Our brave volunteers are making a chain to safeguard food and medicines. The humanitarian avalanche is unstoppable," Guaido tweeted on Saturday (local time).

Maduro has dismissed claims of a humanitarian crisis in the nation, outlining that the United States is trying to stage a coup to dethrone him by sending in aid to the nation.

The developments come on the same day that three Venezuelan National Guard troops defected near the Colombian border at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, extending their support to Guaido, according to CNN.

"The soldiers with whom I have spoken have responded to their desire for life and future for their children that the Usurper does not guarantee them. Venezuelan soldier, the message is clear: do what the Constitution says. There will be amnesty and guarantees for those who take the side of the people," Guaido had earlier tweeted on February 23 (local time).

Meanwhile, reports have claimed that two people lost their lives while 17 were injured near the Venezuela-Brazil border, as the standoff over the entry of aid into Venezuela escalated. The mayor of Gran Sabana, Emilio Gonzalez, told CNN that the military opened fire on an indigenous group of people when they tried to let aid into Venezuela from Brazil.

Amidst all of this, US President Donald Trump, tweeted, "God Bless the people of Venezuela!" presumably extending his support to those who are siding with Guaido and helping in getting the humanitarian aid, sent by the United States, into their country.

No respite seems to be in sight for the South American nation, which has been embroiled in political chaos due to the standoff between Guaido and Maduro. In fact, the international community has been divided regarding which side to support in the turmoil, with most European countries along with the USA showing their support to Guaido while countries like China and Russia have slammed external intervention in the nation. (ANI)

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