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US aid lands in Colombia as part of effort to deliver supplies to Venezuela



US Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft left the Homestead Air Reserve Base in Miami and landed in Cucuta, Colombia, according to a statement by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) . The relief supplies provided included sanitary kits that can help about 25,000 people and nutritional products that according to USAID can feed about 3,500 children.

The first wave of aid arrived on February 8 and included locally purchased food kits, hygiene kits, medical supplies, ready-to-use supplementary foods and high-energy biscuits, he said l & # 39; USAID.

The self-appointed provisional president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido, urged the hundreds of thousands of volunteers registered on Saturday to help aid in the country.

Speaking to a demonstration of volunteers in Caracas, Guaido said that "the end of poverty will come, the humanitarian emergency will cease", urging that aid be allowed to enter and "humanitarian corridors open".

tweet Saturday at least 600,000 had registered as volunteers.

CNN was not able to independently verify the number.

Guaido also repeated his call directly to the armed forces to support his efforts to get help.

The latest aid delivery comes a week after Guaido and the National Assembly of Venezuela have requested humanitarian assistance. The Venezuelan government, led by the president deployed Nicolas Maduro, blocked last week a bridge connecting Venezuela to Colombia, according to Colombian officials and a CNN photojournalist on the spot, effectively cutting the humanitarian aid required by Venezuelan opposition through that way. [1
9659009] Guaido identified two other collection points: the border between Brazil and Venezuela and an unidentified Caribbean island.

  United States willing to meet Maduro as military aid to provide aid to Venezuela

Maduro refused international aid, saying: " We are not beggars ".

Guaido declared himself interim president on January 23, but Maduro – who was inaugurated for a second term that the United States, dozens of other countries and Venezuelan opposition denounced as illegitimate – did not resign as president or considered calls to hold another election.

A senior administration official says the United States would be willing to meet Maduro to negotiate his exit.

According to reports, Maduro extended an invitation to meet with the US special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. The State Department and the secretary of state have not commented on the prospect of such a meeting, but Mike Pompeo said on Friday that the overture shows "the growing understanding of Maduro that the Venezuelan people are rejecting it".

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

Pence added that the United States was "proud" to be the first country to recognize Guaido and "to date, 52 countries, including 30 of our European allies, have followed the command of America." [19659002] Pence said it is time for the rest of the world to recognize Guaido.

"It's time for the rest of the world to take a step forward," he said. "Once again the Old World can take a stand in support of freedom in the New World. We all have to be with the Venezuelan people until freedom and democracy are fully restored."

CNN's Artemis Moshtaghian, Jennifer Deaton, Shawn Nottingham and Zahra Ullah contributed to this relationship.


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