On February 21st, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that the country’s border with Brazil would be closed “until further notice.”
#EnVivo 📹 | Videoconferencia con el Estado Mayor Superior de la #FANB y los Comandantes de las REDI, para verificar el apresto operacional de todas las unidades militares de la Patria. https://t.co/G99O2RgENh
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 21, 2019
In the televised address he said that he was also considering a “total closure of the border with Colombia” ahead of the deadline given by US-proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido – February 23rd.
Maduro called the aid a “provocation” and “child’s game”, suggesting the aid is a precursor for a US military intervention.
“[The US] aimed to generate a huge national mess, but they didn’t succeed. The country wants peace,” he said.
In the address, Maduro was surrounded by military officials who once more reiterated their support for him and rejected Guaido’s calls to join the opposition.
RT @PresidencialVen: #DeInterés @NicolasMaduro: "Every day our response must be loyalty to the Homeland, to the Constitution, to the Revolution, to the Commander in Chief, to history and to our legacy." pic.twitter.com/2UlAw9tto4
— Nicolás Maduro (@maduro_en) February 21, 2019
On the previous day, the Venezuelan military announced it was also banning vessels from sailing out of Venezuela’s ports until Sunday to avoid actions by “criminal” groups.
Maduro also reiterated the country’s decision to suspend all communications with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. “We want the best relations but with respect!” he tweeted.
Late on February 21st, Juan Guaido signed a Presidential Decree authorizing the entry of humanitarian aid, the opening of all borders, as well as the continuation of relations with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire. He also guaranteed and recognized all members of the Venezuelan military who complied with his US-proclaimed Interim Presidential mandate and the Constitution.
#21Feb Decreto presidencial para autorizar el ingreso de la ayuda humanitaria, apertura de toda nuestra frontera, mantenimiento de relaciones con Aruba, Curazao y Bonaire, además de garantías y reconocimiento para miembros de la #FANB que cumplan este mandado y la constitución. pic.twitter.com/OTHZN8iEhW
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 22, 2019
Regardless of the closure Brazilian presidential spokesman Otavio Rego Barros said his country was going ahead humanitarian aid airlifts for Venezuela despite Maduro’s announcement. The non-perishable food and medicine would be stockpiled in the Brazilian border town of Pacaraima until Guaido was able to send trucks to pick them up and get them into the country.
On February 20th, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Venezuelan military should let “peaceful civilians at the Colombian and Brazilian borders” to “peacefully bring in humanitarian aid”, warning that any infractions “will not be forgotten.”
On the side of the Maduro government’s aid efforts, Food Minister Luis Medina Ramirez said on Twitter that 20,600 boxes of food from the government’s long-running subsidised food distribution programme left for the Colombian border area from the port of La Guaira. There will also be a concert on February 22nd and 23rd aimed at telling Trump “to keep his hands off” Venezuela.
#Vídeo Hoy salieron desde los #CEAC de La Guaira hacia Cúcuta 20.600 cajas #CLAP elaboradas por nuestro Gobierno Bolivariano. Esta es la verdadera ayuda humanitaria de Venezuela en solidaridad con las comunidades del Departamento Norte de Santander. #ProducciónActivaParaElPueblo pic.twitter.com/NV8S2y4q23
— Luis Medina Ramírez (@LuisMedinaRa) February 21, 2019
On February 25th, US Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Colombia to demand Maduro resigns and allow the US-recognized Guaido to assume power.
Pence will be in Colombia to “voice the United States’s unwavering support for interim President Juan Guaidó and highlight the Venezuelan people’s fight for democracy over dictatorship.”
Finally, Venezuela’s ex-Intelligence Chief and “one of the government’s most prominent figures” recognized Guaido as the legitimate holder of power in Venezuela.
In a series of videos posted on Twitter, Hugo Carvajal he announced his support for Juan Guaido and asked the military generals how they could be so “inhuman” as to block the entry of humanitarian aid. He also addressed the Venezuelan people, speaking as a member of the National Assembly, but also as a soldier.
Mensaje al Pueblo Venezolano, en especial a la Fuerza Armada Nacional. Todos me conocen por haber cumplido con mis deberes en una carrera militar de más de 30 años, dentro de la cual, me tocó dirigir la inteligencia y contrainteligencia militar por más de una década. pic.twitter.com/FTrbb2YTsx
— Hugo Carvajal (@hugocarvajal4f) February 21, 2019
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Venezuela’s Deputy Military Atache To UN Announces Support For Guaido
- Venezuela Closes Maritime and Air Border With Carribean Islands, Army Rejects Trump Demands
- Trump Warns Venezuela Military That They Might “Lose Everything” Supporting Maduro