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Venezuela Opposition Leader Hails 'Great Achievement'

Juan Guaido says humanitarian aid is getting through
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2019 10:45 AM CST
Demonstrators run from tear gas fired by Bolivarian National Guard officers during clashes in Urena, Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.   (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
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(Newser) – Opposition leader Juan Guaido says the first shipment of humanitarian aid has crossed into Venezuela from Brazil. Guaido announced the crossing on his Twitter account Saturday. He called it a "great achievement." The AP could not independently confirm the aid had passed through. Guaido one month ago declared presidential powers, vowing to end what he calls the tyranny of President Nicolas Maduro. A defiant Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists and has ordered the closing of Venezuela's borders to block Guaido's effort, which he says is part of a US-led coup.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that Venezuela's National Guard fired tear gas on residents clearing a barricaded border bridge to Colombia on Saturday. By midday, opposition leader Juan Guaido pulled himself onto a semi-truck and shook hands with its driver as he and Colombian President Ivan Duque gave a ceremonial send off to an aid convoy looking to transport nearly 200 metric tons of mostly US-supplied emergency food and medical supplies from the Colombian city of Cucuta.
(Read more Venezuela stories.)

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