US emergency aid for Venezuela to be distributed in Colombia


BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — U.S.-supplied humanitarian aid that was earmarked for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó will now be distributed in Colombia, officials said Thursday.

Colombia’s government said it had reached the decision with the U.S. and representatives of Guaidó because of Nicolás Maduro’s continued “blocking” of the aid.

In a statement, the national disaster agency said some of the aid would now be redistributed to some of the 1.2 million Venezuelan migrants who’ve crossed into Colombia fleeing hyperinflation and shortages of food, fuel and medicine.

Poor Colombians will also benefit, it said.

The U.S. in February airlifted several hundreds of tons of food and hygiene kits to Venezuela’s borders with Colombia, Brazil and the Dutch Caribbean in support of Guaidó’s campaign to weaken Maduro’s grip on power.

Taylor Swift Faces Fury from Fans, Sparks Backlash Over 'All the Racists' Lyrics - 'So Many Things Wrong About This'

The so-called “humanitarian avalanche” ended in chaos as violent clashes broke out on a bridge connecting Venezuela with Colombia, where the bulk of aid is warehoused, as troops loyal to Maduro fired tear gas on opposition activists shielding the aid caravan.

Maduro and his allies Russia and Cuba always saw the opposition’s plan to ram the aid across the border as a reckless pretext for ordering a U.S. military intervention.

“We aren’t beggars,” Maduro said at the time.

Shortly afterward he granted access to the Red Cross, which has mounted a major relief effort in the country comparable to its response to the crisis in Syria.

Colombia’s disaster relief agency said it would distribute the aid in undisclosed locations where the need is greatest. It said whatever remaining amounts of aid not distributed inside Colombia or directly controlled by USAID would continue to be stored on behalf of Guaidó, who Colombia, the U.S. and 50 other nations recognize as Venezuela’s rightful leader.

“This is the right thing to do,” said David Smilde, a Tulane University professor who has spent decades studying Venezuela. “The aid was never all that relevant given the scope of need in Venezuela, and it can help migrants in Colombia.”

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City