CARACAS – Venezuela’s interim President Juan Guaido said on Friday that if the Nicolas Maduro regime blocks food and medicines donated by other countries from entering the country, a volunteer force will head for the borders to open a humanitarian corridor.
“If they dare to keep blocking the highways, to keep Venezuelans from living their lives, then we volunteers will go open a humanitarian corridor when the time is right,” he said during an event at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) in Caracas.
He announced that this Saturday he will kick off “the organization of the noblest movement,” a volunteer force of people who would work for free distributing food and medicines, both very scarce in Venezuela.
Aid is being assembled at a collection center in Cucuta, a Colombian city on the border with Venezuela, but Maduro ordered the military to block the main bridge linking the two countries.
The opposition leader said the force will be manned by volunteers from every one of the 335 municipalities in the country and will be another way to protest against the “dictatorship” of Maduro, who totally denies the existence of a humanitarian crisis and has said he will not permit the “humiliation” of accepting donations.
Guaido also said that the demonstration planned for next Tuesday will be repeated “in every corner” of Venezuela to demand once more the end of what he considers Maduro’s usurping of the presidency, and that humanitarian aid be allowed to enter the country freely.
He added that in his plan to achieve a transition government, he does not rule out a people’s march to anywhere in the downtown area or west side of Caracas, traditionally considered bastions of the governing leftist PSUV party and where the seats of government power are located.
“We’ll do it at a time when we know we can bring it off,” he said, indicating that in the National Assembly, with the aid of the international community that backs it, “that moment is being created.”
The United States, Canada, numerous Latin American countries and the major European powers all consider Maduro’s May 2018 re-election victory to be tainted by fraud and have recognized Guaido, the speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, as interim president.
Maduro has denounced Guaido’s claim as an attempted coup engineered by the US.