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United States says could send Venezuela aid through Red Cross

United States says could send Venezuela aid through Red Cross

Elliott Abrams, the envoy heading the USA effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro, praised the Red Cross initiative and credited appeals by Juan Guaido, the opposition leader considered interim president by the United States and some 50 other countries.

Rocca added that the Red Cross would consider delivering aid now being stored on the Colombian and Brazilian sides of the border with Venezuela, as long as it meets the protocols of the humanitarian organization.

However, Guaido gave no details about the shipment nor whether he has reached an agreement with President Nicolas Maduro.

The United States has levied crippling sanctions against Maduro's government in efforts to push him from power, but he has hung on in large part thanks to continued loyalty by top military commanders.

Trump's national security adviser John Bolton issued a second warning on Friday in a strongly worded formal statement.

Maduro retains control of state functions and the country's military.

Russian Federation said yesterday its troops will stay in Venezuela "for as long as needed", rejecting US President Donald Trump's demand that Russian Federation remove its military from the crisis-stricken country.

He also said medical aid would be coming into Venezuela in a matter of days, reiterating a promise that he was forced to renege on in February after security forces blocked USA -backed assistance from entering the country and clashed with protesters.

Maduro was sworn for his new term in January.

He said the blackouts were caused by "terrorist attacks" on the Guri hydroelectric dam that powers much of the country.

"I would just say that we have options and that I think it would be a mistake for the Russians to think they have a free hand here", Elliott Abrams told reporters Friday at the State Department.

In Washington, the USA envoy for Venezuela welcomed the latest aid distribution plan.

"This aid is not going to solve the problems that Venezuelans face".

The United Nations estimates that about a quarter of Venezuelans need humanitarian assistance, according to an internal UN report seen by Reuters.

China, which has major oil investments in the country, continues to back Maduro and has offered to help his government improve the power supply that has been interrupted by frequent blackouts.

Julio Castro, of the non-profit group Doctors for Health, described the IFRC's aid announcement as an advance but said it did not guarantee success, offering a sports analogy of the sort that is common in the baseball-loving country.

Supporters of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and the man he is trying to oust, President Nicolas Maduro, are holding rival demonstrations.


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