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Venezuela's Crisis Hits Stand-Still over Emergency Aid

February 11, 2019

Nearly three weeks after the Trump administration backed an all-out effort to force out President Nicolás Maduro, the embattled socialist leader is holding strong and defying predictions of an imminent demise.

Dozens of nations have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s claim to the presidency and the U.S. has tightened sanctions aimed at cutting off billions of dollars in oil revenue. But anti-Maduro street protests have come and gone, and large-scale military defections have failed to materialize...

Guaidó has won backing from nearly 50 countries worldwide, including the United States, which has pledged an initial $20 million in support and has already shipped emergency food and medicine to the Colombian border city of Cucuta, where it sits in a warehouse.

Maduro has refused all economic assistance, denying there is an economic crisis in Venezuela — and contending the aid is part of a coup being orchestrated by the White House to topple him...

The U.S. humanitarian aid is being stored in a warehouse across a river from the socialist rally, a situation that also puts Maduro in a tight situation, said Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas and Americas Society, a Washington-based think tank.

“If you let it in, you’re bowing to Guaidó and the international community,” he said. “If you don’t you’re seen as a tyrant.”

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