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Could women in white sway Venezuelan soldiers blocking aid?

Could women in white sway Venezuelan soldiers blocking aid?

'We have been threatened by the U.S. empire, ' said Venezuela's embattled president Nicolás Maduro.

He accused the Trump administration of trying to violate national sovereignty by co-ordinating the shipment of hundreds of tonnes of medicines, medical equipment and nutritional supplements.

"The US will continue to use all tools to separate Maduro & his cronies from money that rightfully belongs to the people of Venezuela", tweeted White House national security adviser John R. Bolton. Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $140 million-including almost $97 million in humanitarian assistance, and approximately $43 million in development and economic assistance-to support the generous efforts of affected countries to host displaced Venezuelans. His press conference in Caracas was twice interrupted by power cuts, which have become common in the capital.

A few trucks of food and medicines are now blocked on the Colombian border.

Major European countries have joined the United States in backing Guaido but they have stopped short of the sweeping oil sanctions and financial measures that Washington has imposed.

He said the aid offer was "a message of humiliation for the people". Venezuela's chief military attache to the United States also said he was defecting late last month. Simultaneously, President Donald Trump's administration has been urging Venezuelan officers to defect and support the opposition's claim to power.

"I think it is better for the transition to democracy in Venezuela that he be outside the country", Abrams said.

Accompanied by his wife Fabiana Rosales, center right, Venezuela's self proclaimed president Juan Guaido, arrives for a meet with university students at the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Feb. 9, 2019.

His move ramped up tensions with Maduro's government even as many in Venezuela remain in desperate need of such supplies.

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Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying's statement came in response to a question about a meeting on Thursday of an "International Contact Group" led by Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez and attended by leaders of 14 countries, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden.

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said on Friday that he would not allow "fake" humanitarian aid to enter the country.

'The revolution is more alive than ever, ' Maduro said.

Guaido called Wednesday on the conscience of Venezuela's military - which has so far been loyal to the government - to permit aid into the country from Colombia, which is run by a right-wing government critical of Maduro.

China insists that peaceful dialogue and political means are the "only way" toward enduring peace in Venezuela, the foreign ministry said, adding that it backs multinational efforts to reach such an outcome.

Roughly 40 countries around the world have backed Guaido, who swore himself in as president in January.

Maduro's government has accused Guaido, who has galvanized Venezuela's opposition, of attempting to stage a USA -directed coup.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also said Germany had earmarked €5 million ($5.72 million) worth of assistance for Venezuela. "Humanitarian aid does not substitute for the economy of a country".