US refiner Citgo emerges as key to Venezuela's power battle

Aerial view of the Tienditas Bridge in the border between Cucuta Colombia and Tachira Venezuela after Venezuelan military forces blocked it with containers

Soaring hyperinflation has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee or go hungry as they struggle to find or afford basic goods and medicine.

"I want to see how many military officers are willing to commit crimes against humanity by not allowing the lives of the most vulnerable to be saved, 250,000 to 300,000 are at risk of dying if they do not receive immediate attention", Guaido said during a gathering of university students.

In an ironic twist, a Venezuelan navy ship laden with equipment sent by Maduro's government to help Cuba rebuild after a tornado hit Havana last month arrived in the city's port on Friday, Cuban state media reported.

Blaming Maduro for bringing the dire social and economic crisis upon the sanctions-strangled Venezuela, Guaido has been taking advantage of the situation to push for regime change and pleading with his worldwide support base to urgently send humanitarian aid.

The United States is holding direct communications with members of Venezuela's military urging them to abandon President Nicolas Maduro and is also preparing new sanctions aimed at increasing pressure on him, a senior White House official said.

The dire situation has fueled a political crisis that has peaked over the last month with opposition leader Juan Guaido invoking a constitutional provision to declare himself the legitimate president. Dozens of political parties that make up Venezuela's opposition have failed to mount a viable political challenge.

However, fearing a possible conspiracy created to further destabilize the country, Maduro has so far refused to allow in trucks with foreign aid.

Hector Vazquez Muniz, chief financial officer of Banco San Juan Internacional, said in a statement to the AP that the bank is complying with the USA sanctions and denied wrongdoing. He's managed to rally masses of Venezuelans into the streets to show their support, and he's won backing from almost 50 countries worldwide, including the United States.

On Monday, Canada hosted a meeting of the Lima Group regional bloc to discuss how the global community can further help the people of Venezuela, including through immediate humanitarian assistance.

These supplies include food, hygiene kits, blankets, water containers, kitchen sets, water bladders, and nutritional supplements.

The boxes of emergency aid came from the U.S. Agency for International Development, and are marked with USAID labels.

It is still unclear how the aid will get through the Colombian-Venezuelan border. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for dialogue to resolve the crisis.

Guaido, 35, is trying to bring in aid from the U.S. but the supplies are stuck in warehouses in Colombia because the Venezuelan military has blocked their entry.

"While I cannot name names because visa information is protected, I can state that we will continue to take action against those destroying Venezuela's democratic institutions", he said.

He claims that as head of the opposition-led National Assembly he is Venezuela's rightful leader because Maduro's re-election previous year was a sham.

Related News:



Most liked

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam Told His Staff He's Not Leaving
Fairfax's spokeswoman, Lauren Burke, said "we're calling for an investigation on all of these matters". Cory Booker (D-New Jersey), and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe were among the first.

Vatican: Nuns Are Being Raped And Made As Sex Slaves By Priests
Do we have the will? Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti later confirmed that Pope Benedict dissolved the Community of St. At the time, Benedict was a cardinal and head of the Vatican's doctrinal office.

'Powerhouse' Actor Albert Finney Dead at 82
It's nothing to shake a stick at, but to put it in perspective, that's roughly half of what NCIS star Mark Harmon makes in a year. He famously played Ebenezer Scrooge in the 1970 musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic " Scrooge ".

Body found in English Channel ID'd as Emiliano Sala
However, the AAIB said video footage captured by the ROV would provide "valuable evidence" for its safety investigation. Forestieri was one of the many footballers who called for police to keep up their search for Sala and to not lose faith.

Scotland’s weather: Strong winds and heavy rain set to cause disruption
Southwesterly winds will strengthen across the United Kingdom on Friday, so it's going to be a windy day for everyone. The forecaster added that gale force winds with gusts 50-70mph were likely to ease on Saturday.

Crappy memories: New Zealand kayaker's lost pictures found sealed in poop
NIWA put out the call to find the owner on Monday and posted footage from the memory stick showing the nose of a blue kayak. After determining it was a USB drive, the undigested hardware was allowed to dry off for a few weeks at room temperature.

Woody Allen Sues Amazon For Backing Out of $73 Million Deal
Just Law, who stars in A Rainy Day in New York , previously told The New York Times "it's a awful shame" the film was shelved. As it was previously reported, Dylan Farrow , for many many years has claimed that Allen abused her when she was a child.

San Francisco Giants Reportedly Enter Bryce Harper Sweepstakes
With both of these high-caliber players asking for multi-year deals, teams need to have plenty of cap space to sign them. The other top tier free agent is former Washington Nationals and former first overall pick, Bryce Harper .

Mobile promises the Sprint merger won't drive up prices… for now
T-Mobile CEO John Legere posted an open letter to the FCC discussing the proposed T-Mobile-Sprint merger . We believe this merger makes consumers better off, and we're willing to put our money where our mouth is.

Bookmakers' view on Barça vs. Real Madrid clash
Barcelona will look to make the most of their home advantage in the first leg of their semi-final cup tie this evening. The Barca coach will then have to decide whether Messi is fit enough to start the game.

Children with a mental illness deserve access to the new hospital
Any parent anxious about their child's mental health and who needs help or support can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000. This school has its own dog - really.

Oscars 2019: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper to perform 'Shallow' at the ceremony
When asked about his Oscars performance with Gaga, Cooper said, "I'm sure I'll be terrified". If you're counting, that's four out of the five nominees for best original song.

Pope Francis makes history with Muslim dialogue in UAE
Pope Francis spoke alongside Sheik Ashamed el-Tayeb, the grand imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, the 1,000 year old seat of Sunni Islam. European nations learned this important lesson after two devastating world wars and on the back of the Cold War.

This Anthem Controversy Is Not What You'd Expect
Several artists, such as Rihanna and Cardi B, reportedly declined to perform at this year's Super Bowl . However, even with her lengthy powerhouse notes, the singer's performance was set at 1:49.

Record Audiences Get Set to Make the 2017 Grand National the Biggest To Date
For some , it will be a case of asking which horses have been at their most impressive this season that will give them the clues as to which Grand National horses to bet on .