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US sent aid for Venezuela, blocked by president Maduro



The United States sent its first military aircraft with aid for Venezuelan citizens to Colombia on Saturday, but Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will not allow the aircraft’s contents into Venezuela, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The aircraft contained soap, toothbrushes, and nutritional products, according to The Journal.

Maduro has said accepting aid from the US could lead to an American military invasion amid criticism over his management of Venezuela’s economy, which has suffered from an economic crisis spurred by massive inflation that has led some 3 million people to leave the country. Maduro has blocked all foreign aid from entering Venezuela.

Read more: Venezuela was once the richest, most stable, democracy in Latin America. Here’s what went wrong.

United States Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green criticized Maduro during a press conference on Saturday, according to The Journal.

“As long as the Maduro regime and his cronies plague Venezuela with economic mismanagement and corruption, we all know this humanitarian crisis will continue,” Green reportedly said. “Maduro must go.”

Maduro faces a challenge for Venezuela’s presidency from opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom the US and much of Latin America recognize as Venezuela’s interim president. Guaido has said foreign aid will be carried into Venezuela by volunteers on February 23 despite Maduro’s ban.

Venezuela was once the wealthiest nation in Latin America due to its vast oil reserves, but a combination of decreasing oil prices, unsuccessful austerity measures, corruption, and an overvalued currency have led to an economic crisis.

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