Marco Rubio warns Venezuelan soldiers to let aid enter

Marco Rubio warns Venezuelan soldiers to let aid enter

The Florida Republican's visit comes after a second US cargo of humanitarian aid arrived at the Colombian border on Saturday to help alleviate a burgeoning crisis.

Maduro has been using the military, which remains loyal, to help him block the aid from entering Venezuela, describing it as "crumbs" from a USA government whose restrictions have stripped his administration of control over many of its most valuable assets. More aid from the USA will arrive on Sunday, Rubio tweeted after his arrival in Colombia.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's self-declared interim President Juan Guaido pledged to bypass the Maduro blockade and get aid into the country.

Rubio warned Venezuelan soldiers that blocking aid would be an global "crime against humanity".

Meanwhile, three US military transport planes loaded with humanitarian aid for Venezuela landed in Cucuta, Colombia on Saturday, adding to the tons food and medicine waiting to cross the border. He said in Spanish that soldiers who keep aid shipments from entering would spend "the rest of their lives hiding from justice".

The delegation, including Carlos Trujillo, the U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States and U.S. Representative Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, visited tents providing medical care to migrants and the warehouse where aid is being stored. Pompeo spoke with reporters Friday in Reykjavik, Iceland following an exclusive Associated Press interview with Maduro, who said he was willing to meet President Donald Trump - any time or place.

Maduro revealed to the AP that his government has had secret meetings with the resolve the crisis.

Guaido, who argues that Maduro's 2018 re-election was a sham, invoked constitutional provisions to declare himself the country's leader last month.

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"They hang us, steal our money and then say "here, grab these crumbs" and make a global show out of it", Maduro said on Thursday.

He said Venezuelans "are being denied medicine, food and aid needed to live while those people who are at the head of that regime are living like multimillionaires".

Another delivery was scheduled to arrive on Sunday in Cucuta, a border city where thousands of desperate Venezuelans have gathered.

Guaido said last week that he would try to run caravans of badly needed food and medicine into Venezuela - but it wouldn't start for almost two weeks.

The incident on Sunday is the latest point of tension between the global community and Mr Maduro, who is in the grip of a power struggle with Mr Guaido, the head of the National Assembly who proclaimed himself interim president last month.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the Europeans had "conspiratorial aims" and were sent back from the country's main Maiquetia airport.

Venezuela would "not permit the European extreme right to disturb the peace and stability of the country with another of its rude, interventionist actions", he wrote.

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