Venezuela struggles to find buyers for its oil after U.S. sanctions

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Venezuela's Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Venezuelan soldiers opened fire on members of an indigenous community near the border with Brazil on Friday, killing at least one and injuring others, as President Nicolas Maduro defied USA -backed efforts to bring aid into his economically devastated nation.

The U.S. and allies will apparently use Ukrainian Antonov cargo planes for the alleged arms delivery, which is expected to take place in the beginning of March, she added.

Branson said he was aiming to raise about $100 million to buy food and medicine for Venezuela.

With inflation running at more than 2 million percent a year and currency controls restricting imports of basic goods, many Venezuelans lack vital medicines and a growing share of the country's roughly 30 million people is suffering from malnutrition.

Humanitarian aid to Venezuela has become a flashpoint in the struggle between President Nicolas Maduro and Juan Guaido, who has been recognized by over 50 nations, including Brazil, as the country's president.

After this first bloodshed linked to efforts to bring aid into the country against the orders of embattled Maduro, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly appealed for violence to be avoided in Venezuela, a U.N. spokesman said.

Paola Quintero, an activist for Venezuelan migrants, said that while the concert has had a positive, short-term impact on Cucuta's economy, many are anxious about what might happen Saturday when thousands try to move aid across the border.

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US -backed interim president Juan Guaido has vowed to get the aid through Saturday, despite the threat of military force.

The president of Colombia, Ivan Duque, arrived Friday in the border city of Cucuta, where he and his counterparts Sebastian Piñera (Chile) and Mario Abdo (Paraguay) will develop an intense agenda focused on the onslaught against Venezuela.

Meanwhile China, which along with Russian Federation backs Maduro, warned humanitarian aid should not be forced in because doing so could lead to violence. A concert known as Paz Sin Fronteras - Peace Without Borders - was held in 2008 after a diplomatic flare-up that drew Venezuelan troops to the Colombia border.

Venezuelan singer "Chyno" performs during "Venezuela Aid Live" concert.

"You must decide which side you are on in this definitive hour", Guaido wrote on Twitter.

"I ask the armed forces, is it constitutional for them to fire against unarmed indigenous people?" said Jorge Perez, a local councilman in Gran Sabana, the district where the town is located who said he was present when the soldiers opened fire.

Policemen stand guard during a concert at Tienditas International Bridge, in Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, on the border with Colomcia.

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