2019-02-25 00:05:35 UTC
when a woman of an indigenous group was killed and another dozen
injured after clashes with security forces at a border town with
The victim was identified as Zoraida Rodriguez, a member of the Pemon
ethnic group that clashed with the Venezuela National Guard and army,
who were moving tanks near the border town of Gran Sabana, Mayor
Emiliano Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said that while soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas,
Rodriguez was shot dead during the clashes. The injured people were
taken for medical treatment.
There was no immediate information on the condition of the injured,
though television news showed images of three men on gurneys being
treated for bloody wounds.
The violence came a day after embattled President Nicolas Maduro
ordered the border with Brazil closed to prevent aid from neighboring
countries to enter Venezuela. He also blocked air and sea travel
between Venezuela and the nearby Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao,
where the first cargo of relief supplies arrived earlier that day.
Maduro denies any humanitarian crisis exists, and the plan to bring in
aid is one of the most ambitious and potentially dangerous the
opposition has attempted since opposition leader Juan Guaido declared
himself interim president in January.
"We're not beggars," he said. "What the U.S. empire is doing with its
puppets is an internal provocation. They wanted to generate a great
national commotion, but they didn't achieve it."
The deadly clashes were not the only to turn violent in Venezuela over
Trucks driven by Guaido supporters nearly rammed into a blockade by
security forces in an attempt to reach aid in Colombia.
Images showed a red truck trying to forcefully pass through a
checkpoint in Mariara, in northern Venezuela a few hours outside of
Caracas, on Thursday as the security forces appeared to stand their
The national guardsmen in anti-riot gear positioned a trailer truck in
front of a tunnel, blocking the highway westward. A shouting match and
scuffle ensured, with the guardsmen firing tear cag before the
lawmakers eventually forced their way through and resumed their
The truck is part of a cross-country caravan led by Guiado for the
border with Colombia, where much of the U.S.-supplied aid is
warehoused. Guaido has called for thousands of ordinary Venezuelans to
assemble at the Colombian border on Saturday to help bring the aid
Meanwhile, dueling concerts began on the country's western border with
Colombia, where much of the U.S.-supplied aid is being stored in a
British billionaire and adventurer Richard Branson is sponsoring a
Live Aid-style concert featuring dozens of musicians including Latin
rock star Juanes on one side of a crossing that Colombian officials
have renamed the "Unity Bridge," while Maduro's socialist government
is promising a three-day festival deemed "Hands Off Venezuela" on the
The Trump administration said it's sent nearly 200 metric tons of
humanitarian assistance over the past two weeks to the
Colombian-Venezuelan border for distribution inside Venezuela.
The U.S. Agency for International Development said Friday that about
191 tons of relief supplies have been delivered to a depot in Cucuta,
Colombia since Feb. 4. That includes food for 2,000 people for a month
and medical material such as hygiene kits, wheelchairs, crutches,
bandages, and examination gloves.
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