One dead and 12 injured as Venezuelan troops open fire on civilians trying to keep Brazilian border open for aid – a day after Guaido’s trucks rammed through roadblocks

Friday, February 22, 2019
By Paul Martin

Venezuelan troops ‘opened fire’ after arriving at a village where civilians were trying to keep the border open
Woman named as Zorayda Rodriguez, 42, was killed and 12 were injured, four seriously, it has been reported
Video also shows a clash between President Nicolas Maduro’s troops and backers of his rival Juan Guaido
Security forces shown standing in path of trucks which are believed to have been on their way to the border
Maduro is trying to block US aid from entering Venezuela but Guaido is planning to bring it in on Saturday
Rival pop concerts set to take place at either end of a blockaded border bridge today as tensions mount
Russia accused the US of using aid deliveries as a ploy to carry out military action against Maduro’s regime

By JULIAN ROBINSON
DAILYMAIL.COM
22 February 2019

One person has been killed and 12 are injured after Venezuelan troops opened fire on civilians trying to keep a border checkpoint open for aid deliveries.

Troops arrived at a checkpoint set up by an indigenous community in Kumarakapai, on Venezuela’s southern border with Brazil early this morning.

But when civilians tried to block a convoy of tanks, soldiers opened fire killing a woman named as Zorayda Rodriguez, 42, and wounding 12 others. Gran Sabana Mayor Emilio Gonzalez said soldiers fired rubber bullets and tear gas and the injured people were taken for medical treatment.

The villagers are believed to have been trying to keep open a section of the border so that aid could be moved into the area from Brazil. President Nicolas Maduro ordered the frontier with the country shut yesterday and is now considering shutting the border with Colombia.

Maduro is closing off his country to the West as his opposition rival Juan Guaido attempts to claim power having declared himself interim president, vowing to personally bring in US humanitarian aid on Saturday.

Russia has accused the US of using aid deliveries to Venezuela as a ploy to carry out military action against Maduro’s government. The Kremlin’s Foreign Ministry said America had deployed special forces and equipment near the South American nation and accused Washington of an instigating a ‘dangerous provocation’.

It comes after dramatic footage emerge of a clash between Maduro’s troops and supporters of Guaido. The clip shows trucks trying to ram through a checkpoint in Mariara, northern Venezuela, as security forces loyal to Maduro stand in its path.

It is thought to have taken place as supporters of opposition leader Guaido made their way to the border to collect US aid.

Maduro is refusing to let US supplies in, arguing it would be the first step toward a foreign invasion. Instead, he has accepted Russian aid and reportedly sent missiles to the border.

Meanwhile, the crisis is set to morph in to a ‘battle of the bands’ today with rival concerts taking place at opposite ends of a blockaded border bridge.

British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, after being approached by Guaido, is bidding to raise $100million in donations through ‘Venezuela Aid Live’ on the Colombian side of Tienditas bridge.

On the other side of the crossing, closed off with freight containers, President Nicolas Maduro will hold ‘hands off Venezuela’ – a three day festival.

Tensions are continuing to mount as the weekend approaches with Guaido adamant he will bring the supplies into the country on Saturday. The Tienditas bridge, is one of the conduits that he has targeted.

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