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300 tons of humanitarian aid from Russia to arrive in Venezuela

File photo of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro. Photograph:( Reuters )

Agencia EFE Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela Feb 19, 2019, 03.38 PM (IST)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Monday that 300 tons of humanitarian aid from Russia will arrive in the country later this week, an announcement made at a time when the opposition is pressing for the entry of donations from other countries amid a shortage of medicines.

"On Wednesday, 300 tons of aid and humanitarian assistance will, legally, arrive from Russia at the Maiquetia (International) Airport (which serves Caracas)," he said in a presidential council which was broadcast on radio and television on a mandatory basis. 

He indicated that this aid was paid for by the executive and indicated that his government is receiving "technical assistance" from the United Nations (UN).

The president said that was possible that in the next few days there will be an announcement made by several countries to offer their support, through the UN, to Venezuela.

He also insisted that the donations made by the United States and Colombia at the request of the Venezuelan Parliament, which has an opposition majority, and that is blocked at the border, are expired and contaminated food.

"The humanitarian aid is a 'show', a booby trap. They stole from us $30 billion and offer us $20 million of rotten, contaminated food, in order to try to intervene in Venezuela," he said while asking the Colombian president, Ivan Duque, and the American, Donald Trump, to drop the "madness."

Maduro's announcement came on a day when his communications minister, Jorge Rodriguez, said that he will take food and medical treatment to the Colombian city of Cucuta due to the poverty that its residents suffer.

Cucuta is one of the collection centres for humanitarian aid requested by the Venezuelan Parliament, but Maduro refuses to accept it on the grounds that it may lead to a foreign invasion, especially after the ignoring of his new term in office following his election in polls branded as fraudulent.

For this reason, and after the head of the Parliament, Juan Guaido, was proclaimed interim president because Maduro was considered illegitimate, almost 50 countries have also recognized Guaido as the country's leader.

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Maduro indicated that this aid was paid for by the executive and indicated that his government is receiving 'technical assistance' from the United Nations (UN).