Pres. Trump to say Venezuela's move to democracy is 'irreversible'


Guaido has vowed to deliver the aid over the objections of Maduro, who in an exclusive interview Thursday with the AP said that the offer of US assistance represents mere "crumbs" compared to hostile efforts to block the country's oil exports and restrict its access to foreign funding.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump will express "strong support" for Guaido, whom the US recognizes as the country's rightful president, and condemn President Nicolas Maduro's government and its socialist policies.

In addition to the aid arriving in Colombia, Guaido said, more would be coming through Brazil and the Caribbean island of Curacao.

The U.S. shipment Saturday was accompanied by a delegation led by Mark Green, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Bolton appeared to confirm reports that Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met in NY with US special envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams, and suggested Maduro should ask himself what they talked about. The supplies are piling up in a warehouse near the worldwide bridge of Tienditas.

"With dignity, we say 'No to the global show, ' Whoever wants to help Venezuela is welcome, but we have enough capacity to pay for everything that we need".

"We came to ask for the solidarity of the governments of the world", said Lester Toledo, coordinator for worldwide help for Venezuela.

His vice-president has alleged, without evidence, that the aid packages are contaminated.

Maduro is inviting a USA special envoy to come to Venezuela after revealing during the interview that his foreign minister recently held secret meetings with the US official in NY.

But it remains unclear whether Maduro, who has called the aid a USA -orchestrated show and denies any crisis, will allow the supplies to cross into Venezuela.

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About 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015 as the crisis intensified, according to the United Nations.

The US has placed Venezuela's US assets, including oil company Citgo, under Guaido's control and banned financial transactions by Maduro-controlled entities.

Critics say Maduro's re-election previous year was fraudulent, making his second term illegal.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

"We paid for it with our own money because we're beggars to no one", Maduro said.

Maduro, the hand-picked successor to socialist firebrand Hugo Chavez, blames Venezuela's woes on USA sanctions, more of which were added on Friday.

Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro.

The U.S. Treasury took aim at some of Maduro's allies with its sanctions on Friday.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday in Germany, US Vice President Mike Pence said the situation in Venezuela is a "tragedy that demands a response from the whole world".

Some 30 European countries have already recognised the former engineer as Venezuela's leader, but holdouts include Italy and Greece.