Marco Rubio Jets Into Colombia as More Aid Arrives for Venezuela

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio traveled to the Colombia-Venezuela border on Sunday to visit aid facilities as cargoes with humanitarian resources arrive, aiming to put additional pressure on the Nicolas Maduro administration.

The Florida Republican’s visit comes after a second U.S. cargo of humanitarian aid arrived at the Colombian border on Saturday to help alleviate a burgeoning crisis. The cargoes now sit alongside relief supplies that arrived on Feb. 8. More aid from the U.S. will arrive on Sunday, Rubio tweeted after his arrival in Colombia.

As part of the trip, Rubio will visit the Simon Bolivar Bridge on the Colombia-Venezuela border and medical tents set up to provide assistance to Venezuelans in need. He’ll also meet with members of the National Assembly of Venezuela.

Rubio is traveling with U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States Carlos Trujillo and Representative Mario Díaz-Balart, another Florida Republican.

Juan Guaido, the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly who says he’s the rightful leader of the country, has focused attention on emergency shipments of food stalled in the Colombian border town of Cucuta.

Marco Rubio Jets Into Colombia as More Aid Arrives for Venezuela

Traditional aid groups have shunned the effort as a political ploy, but Guaido is counting on the U.S.-backed initiative to persuade his country’s military to recognize him, and to create an opening for desperately needed relief.

Guaido said thousands of Venezuelans have volunteered to meet on Feb. 23 to escort the aid through barricades constructed on an unused bridge that connects the two nations. Maduro ordered his security forces to block the supplies, saying they’re part of an effort by President Donald Trump’s administration to provide a pretext for intervention.

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