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US uses humanitarian crisis in Venezuela as cover-up for own military plans — Maduro

February 08, 7:29 UTC+3 CARACAS

Earlier, the opposition accused Maduro of blocking a potential route of humanitarian delivery from Colombia

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

© AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

CARACAS, February 8. /TASS/. The US has been declaring its concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela only to promote its own military plans, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told a crowd of his supporters in Caracas.

Earlier, the opposition accused Maduro of blocking a potential route of humanitarian delivery from Colombia. Opposition leader Juan Guaido said the military could ensure supplies of aid.

"The humanitarian crisis is nothing but a cover-up for military plans of the Trump government," Maduro said at a rally to gather signatures against the US interference in the country’s domestic affairs. "The Venezuelan crisis is wholly caused by US sanctions and financial blockade."

The Venezuelan leader also accused Washington of attempts to sabotage international efforts to settle the crisis.

"President Donald Trump has been trying to destroy the noble initiative of dialogue, suggested by Uruguay and Mexico with the support of the Caribbean Community, aimed at peaceful solution and launch of dialogue in Venezuela," he said.

"Today, Venezuela is united in a common call," he continued. "We demand an end to the aggression, intended to stifle our economy and our people, and an end to threats of a military invasion in Venezuela. The people of Venezuela were badly scathed as a result of illegitimate trade and financial blockade, which was further aggravated by the seizure of our assets abroad."

The first meeting of the International Contact Group on Venezuela was held in Uruguay’s capital Montevideo on Thursday. The meeting was attended by several EU members, as well as Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Uruguay and Mexico. Venezuela’s government and the opposition did not take part.

The group vowed to ensure international guarantees for new presidential elections in the country and guarantee prompt humanitarian deliveries. Earlier, Maduro dismissed the possibility of early presidential elections.

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