Venezuela troops fire tear gas on demo at Colombia border

Venezuela troops fire tear gas on demo at Colombia border

The concert also aims to pressure the Venezuelan government into accepting shipments of humanitarian aid donated by the U.S. The aid now sits in a warehouse on the Colombian border after the government of Venezuela refused its entry into the country.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, said in a tweet on Saturday that the "people of Venezuela stand at the threshold of history, ready to reclaim their country - and their future".

"They aren't deserters", Guaido said. Given how hard it is to deliver aid in Venezuela under the Maduro regime, which has a long-term policy of refusing foreign aid, only $2.5-million to $2.6-million is actually destined for organizations inside the country.

Also on Saturday, 13 members of Venezuela's security forces - National Guard troops and police officers - deserted their posts during the clashes and crossed the border into Colombia, according to the Colombian migration authority.

Embattled President Nicolas Maduro has refused to allow the aid to cross the border.

But Guaido, who has declared himself interim president, vowed to see that the donated supplies piled into warehouses at Venezuelan border crossings are allowed into the country. Juanes was among the long line of Hispanic celebrities who volunteered their time to deliver a message. Later, he greeted five of the military members, who in turn offered a salute, calling the opposition leader Venezuela's "constitutional president" and their commander in chief.

His announcement took place against a backdrop of deadly border clashes which saw two people killed in unrest near Brazil and at least 23 soldiers switch loyalties to opposition leader Juan Guaido amid an increasingly unpredictable and unruly fight for power in the oil-rich South American nation.

Venezuelan officials have ordered the border with Colombia closed after already shutting down crossings from Brazil and the island of Curacao, other points of entry for the aid.

Since Wednesday, Maduro troops have been preventing the entry of US humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Brazil and other neighboring countries friendly to the United States.

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Humanitarian aid is critical but "will not improve the political and economic conditions that are responsible", the U.S. State Department said in a statement late Friday.

We want to work: "the people attempted to force their way through", said Viviana Meza, 29, who works in a Cucuta restaurant.

"I think one of the government's aims is to confuse the whole thing, possibly to create some kind of chaos that makes the opposition look bad", Phil Gunson, a senior analyst with the Crisis Group based in Caracas, said of Maduro's rival concert.

Colombia's government had said that aid trucks would be unloaded at the border and their cargo transported by "human chains" that formed on the road that leads toward Venezuela.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido takes a selfie with his wife, Fabiana Rosales, right foreground, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, next to him at left, Colombian President Ivan Duque, giving a thumbs-up and Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, right, during the Venezuela Aid Live concert in Cucuta, Colombia on Friday.

Guaido in January invoked articles of the constitution to assume interim presidency and denounced Maduro as a usurper, arguing his 2018 re-election was illegitimate.

The U.S. was the first to recognize Guaido as president, followed by about 50 other nations.

The beleaguered President, who is facing growing calls to step down, denies that a humanitarian crisis exists in his country and suggests that aid efforts are part of a U.S. plot to orchestrate a coup.

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