Saturday 9 February 2019 - 09:55

‘Venezuelans not beggars:’ Maduro rejects US aid

Story Code : 777031
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 8, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech in Caracas, Venezuela, on February 8, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

His remarks came a day after trucks purportedly carrying medicine and food arrived in the Colombian border city of Cucuta.

“Venezuela will not allow the show of... humanitarian aid because we do not beg from anyone,” Maduro said at a press conference on Friday, adding that it had to be distributed among poor Colombians as his people were not “beggars.”

“Venezuela is not suffering the humanitarian crisis fabricated by Washington over the last four years to justify intervening in our country,” the Venezuelan president said.

Venezuela has been in political turmoil in the past weeks, with the opposition blaming the country’s President Maduro over an ailing economy, hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of basic items, urging him to resign.

Political crisis deepened in the South American country on January 23, when opposition figure Juan Guaido, a lawmaker who leads the defunct National Assembly, proclaimed himself the “interim president” of the country. US President Donald Trump was quick in officially recognizing him as such, announcing sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry.

Besides the US, other major Western powers such as the UK, France, Spain and Germany have recognized Guaido as “interim president.”

Russia, China, Iran and Turkey are some of the countries that have thrown their support behind Maduro.

Maduro had on Thursday said the US was using Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis as a cover-up for its military plans in the country.

The International Contact Group (GCI) said earlier that all sides needed to find a “peaceful, democratic” way out of the situation “without the use of force.”

In a statement, the organization said it would send a technical mission to Venezuela to help provide humanitarian aid and back new elections as soon as possible.

“We reject the partisan and ideological nature of the document," Maduro said in his Friday remarks, stressing that he would always welcome dialog with anyone.