Guaido announces date for aid to enter Venezuela

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Venezuela's opposition called its supporters into the streets across the country Tuesday in a campaign to break the military's support of President Nicolas Maduro, who refuses to let emergency food and medicine from the United States across the border.

Envoys for Venezuela's self-declared caretaker leader Juan Guaido met Vatican officials and lobbied the Italian government for support on Monday in their quest to keep worldwide pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

"February 23 will be the day for the humanitarian aid to enter Venezuela, so from today we will have to get organised", said Guaido.

Maduro denies there is a humanitarian crisis and says Venezuelans are not beggars.

And standing on the Venezuelan side of the Tienditas Bridge - with the aid stockpiled just 1km on the Colombian side - the MPs raised their fists in defiance of the global community and proclaimed; '!No Pasaran - It Will Not Get Through!'

At some point in the crisis, Washington also slapped sanctions on the state oil company, PDVSA, and its USA subsidiary Citgo.

Venezuela's government has blocked the aid the United States sent to the country's border with Colombia.

Last week foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said the United Kingdom had recognised Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.

Maduro also claimed that President Donald Trump had "stimulated the fascist tendencies, neofascists, neo-Nazis within the United States" and the "extremists" in the United States manufactured this crisis as a pretense to invade Venezuela.

"Venezuela is a country that has dignity, and the United States has meant to create a humanitarian crisis in order to justify a military intervention, 'humanitarian.' And this is part of that show", he said in an interview with the BBC that aired Tuesday.

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The US State Department announced in January that Washington had frozen $7 billion in assets belonging to PDVSA in order to make some of the money available to Venezuela's self-proclaimed acting president, Juan Guaido.

He said more than 300,000 Venezuelans are at "risk of dying" amid shortages.

Well, it's interesting, Judy, because a - the humanitarian aid is normally thought of as being purely humanitarian.

In Caracas on Tuesday, a sea of colors gathered downtown as thousands emerged to share in the carnival atmosphere.

He said: 'I know we have problems. "We're against the invasion the gringos want to launch here", said Marcos Velasquez, a 32-year-old Food Ministry employee.

On Venezuela's border with Colombia, smaller opposition protests formed.

But the military has barricaded a border bridge linking the countries, with Maduro describing the aid as a "political show" and a pretext to a U.S. intervention.

Guaido, who galvanized the opposition after several years of in-fighting, has vowed it will keep protesting to pressure Maduro to step down so new presidential elections can be held.

Washington has said it will turn over control of those resources to Guaido once Maduro has been removed from power. The UN says some 2.3 million people have fled since 2015.

"The economic war [from the U.S.] is asphyxiating the country, causing much suffering amongst the most vulnerable", de Zayas said in a recent interview with L'Anti Diplomatico.