Colombian leader orders humanitarian convoy to return


But Venezuelans have been defying government orders, and residents in Urena began removing yellow metal barricades and barbed wire.

U.S. President Donald Trump criticized Maduro and recognized Guaido in January, as did other countries, including Brazil and Canada.

Venezuela's opposition and activists prepared on Saturday to confront troops stationed along the country's borders to block their plan to bring in food and medicine that authorities are calling a veiled US -backed invasion.

Numerous demonstrators said they were peaceful civilians who simply wanted aid because of widespread food and medicine shortages in the once-prosperous country suffering an unprecedented economic meltdown. Organizers estimate some 250,000 people will attend the Venezuela Aid Live concert which aims to raise 100 million USA dollars in food and medicine for Venezuela.

Paola Quintero, an activist for Venezuelan migrants, said that while the concert has had a positive, short-term impact on Cucuta's economy, many are anxious about what might happen Saturday when thousands try to move aid across the border. "They've chose to put themselves on the side of the people and the constitution.The arrival of liberty and democracy to Venezuela can't be detained".

Meanwhile, thousands of opposition and pro-Maduro supporters turned out at rival rallies in the capital Caracas. The sanctions are part of a two-pronged approach by Guaido and his U.S. supporters - strip Maduro of cash to buy even the scraps of food he's been distributing to citizens, then ride to the rescue with critical supplies of their own.

People in Urena barricaded streets with burning tires, set a bus alight and hurled stones at troops to demand that Maduro allow aid into a country ravaged by an economic meltdown that has halved the size of the economy in five years. "And, so they made a decision to shoot at us with live bullets".

"I stood up to them to back the humanitarian aid", Fernandez told Reuters. "We have to fight". The town was also the site of deadly disturbances a day earlier when members of the indigenous Pemon tribe clashed with security forces.

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Two people were killed after Venezuelan security forces reportedly fire on persons who were trying to prevent them from blocking the border with Brazil where a convoy was waiting with relief supplies. On Friday, a married couple in a nearby indigenous community were shot dead by security forces.

"The two deaths are the product of the military's repression during clashes in Santa Elena de Uairen".

Venezuelan soldiers may bar the way.

BBC reporters were forces to flee violence in Ureña, a town on the Venezuelan side of the Simon Bolivar border crossing where soldiers fired teargas at opposition supporters throwing rocks.

The three presidents will also visit the warehouses of Tienditas, where the alleged "humanitarian aid" for the Venezuelan people is stored and which sectors of the left in the hemisphere consider a farce aimed at generating a later military intervention in Venezuela. "We are not terrorists".

Leaders of Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party call the aid effort a veiled invasion backed by Washington, and insist that the United States should instead help Venezuela by lifting crippling financial and oil sector sanctions.

Maduro blames the country's dire situation on US sanctions that have blocked the country from obtaining financing and have hobbled the OPEC nation's oil industry.

Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido takes a selfie with his wife, Fabiana Rosales, right foreground, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, next to him at left, Colombian President Ivan Duque, giving a thumbs-up and Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, right, during the Venezuela Aid Live concert in Cucuta, Colombia on Friday.