US extends support to Guaido with overhead bridge

 The Government of Donald Trump extended with an air bridge his support to Juan Guaidó, the interim Venezuelan president recognized by the National Assembly, that in the last days concentrated the challenge that he launched against Nicolás Maduro in the entrance of humanitarian aid destined to the most vulnerable population. On Saturday arrived in Cúcuta, the main Colombian city on the border with Venezuela, US military planes with tons of nutritional supplements and hygiene kits, a gesture that seeks to increase pressure on the Chavez regime.
 The three C-17 aircraft, a model for heavy military transport, departed from the Homestead airbase in Miami, Florida, by direct flight to Cucuta Airport. The first collection center at Tienditas International Bridge, which connects with the cities of Santo Antonio de Táchira and Ureña, on the Venezuelan side, already operates there. The operation was led by Mark Green, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), in close collaboration with the Colombian Government and Guaido representatives at the border.
 "This is not the first shipment and will not be the last, not only from the United States, but also from many other countries that will join us," Green said when predicting more flights in the coming days, during a press conference on the runway of Camilo Daza Airport, while supplies were being unloaded from the first US Air Force C-17. On the track, a line of more than a dozen trucks waited for the cargo to be transported to Tienditas.
 Guaidó, recognized as the legitimate president by most of the international community, intends to establish several collection points on the land and maritime borders of Venezuela. A strategy that seeks to open a fracture within chavismo and crack the support of the military, through international pressure and the entrance of aid in the country. This plan has advanced rapidly in the two weeks since he requested the assistance. Soon after the arrival of the first trucks to the Tienditas bridge eight days ago, which has been blocked on the other side by the Venezuelan Guard, eight new collection points were announced in Roraima and Curaçao, an autonomous territory of the Netherlands within 100 kilometers of the Venezuelan coast. In Miami, supplies are being stored and should be shipped directly to the Caribbean island on Tuesday. Guaidó said the aid will be distributed with the support of volunteers from the Catholic Church and various NGOs and will enter the country "yes or no" on February 23, when his oath as president completes a month.
 The first of the US planes carried 70 tons of aid. The day before, 2.5 tons of supplies from Puerto Rico reached Tienditas, and in total more than 260 tons are stored and protected, according to calculations by the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD), the Colombian entity in charge to manage storage. Chile also pledged to deliver 17 tons to alleviate the crisis. "The help will pass, and the good thing is that it has a date. We are seven days away from being a reality, "said Lester Toledo, a Guaidó representative, who foresees the arrival of a" sea of ​​people "to protect medicines and food.
 Maduro, who still has the support of the majority of the military, denies that there is a humanitarian emergency and considers the aid entry, which he called "crumbs", a mere excuse for intervention. Venezuela is undergoing a decisive dispute amid an economic collapse marked by rampant hyperinflation, as well as the dramatic shortage of food and medicines, which has forced approximately three million citizens to leave their country. About 1.2 million of these Venezuelans went to Colombia.
 This exodus led Washington to treat the situation as a regional crisis. Since 2017, the United States has earmarked more than $ 140 million (US $ 518 million) in assistance to countries hosting this unique migration wave, and last month pledged to provide an additional $ 20 million ($ 74 million) in aid to Venezuela in support of Guaidó. "Today we are standing on the front line of one of the largest people movements in Latin American history," Green emphasized at Cúcuta airport.
 The final distribution will be in charge of Venezuelans and is a civilian movement of purely humanitarian aid, emphasized both Colombian and US authorities. However, Trump himself did not rule out an intervention. Shortly after a midweek meeting with Colombian President Iván Duque in Washington, the American leader reiterated that "all options" are on the table. The United States has announced Friday punitive measures against five intelligence and security officials close to Maduro, who add to the battery

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