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Republican Senator in Colombia to supervise US aid for Venezuela

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Republican Senator in Colombia to supervise US aid for Venezuela
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Bogota: Republican Senator Marco Rubio arrived in Colombia to supervise the humanitarian aid that is being kept on the country's border with Venezuela, which is expected to be delivered to Caracas starting next week.

"I arrived in #Colombia this morning. Today another huge delivery of humanitarian aid for #Venezuela will arrive. I will be meeting with officials leading the effort to store this at the border and prepare it for delivery to the suffering people of #Venezuela," Rubio tweeted on Sunday.

During his stay in the border city of Cucuta, the capital of Norte de Santander province, the Florida Senator is also scheduled to meet Colombian government officials and tour the Simon Bolivar bridge, the main border crossing point between the two countries, Efe news reported.

Rubio travelled to Colombia with the US envoy to the Organisation of American States, Carlos Trujillo, and Republican Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart who will also take part in overseeing the distribution of humanitarian aid via the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Rubio said in a statement that Americans, Colombians and Venezuelans were ready to provide humanitarian aid needed by the people of Venezuela.

On Saturday, three C-17 US Air Force cargo aircraft arrived at the Cucuta airport loaded with tonness of nutritional supplements and hygiene kits, which will be added to the humanitarian aid already collected there over the past week.

The first wave of US aid arrived on February 8 and included locally purchased food kits, hygiene kits, medical supplies, ready-to-use supplementary foods and high-energy biscuits.

Cucuta, along with Curacao and the Brazilian state of Roraima, are the collection and staging points for the humanitarian aid, and Miami joined them as another collection and staging centre on February 15.

The US and Colombia were the first countries - later joined by most of the Western Hemisphere and European nations - to recognise Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela's opposition-controlled Parliament, as the country's interim president on January 23.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan opposition on Sunday set up about 10 camps around the country where it took a census of thousands of people who it promised to help with the humanitarian aid being collected in Cucuta.

The Venezuelan government, led by embattled President Nicolas Maduro, last week blocked a bridge connecting Venezuela to Colombia, effectively cutting off the humanitarian aid called for by Venezuela's opposition via that route.

Maduro has rejected the international aid, saying: "We are not beggars."

 

 

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