Tensions flare at Venezuela-Colombia border amid aid row (WATCH LIVE)

Saturday, February 23, 2019
By Paul Martin

23 Feb, 2019

Opposition supporters clashed with Venezuelan police on Saturday in several places on the border with Colombia. They attempt to force a way for American ‘aid’ to enter the country against the wishes of the government.

The confrontation started in the morning in the border town of Urena. Footage from the scene showed several protesters pelting police officers with rocks and setting tires on fire.

Local TV broadcasts also showed an apparent attempt by some civilians to dismantle a metal barrier, which prevents travel across the Simon Bolivar international bridge, which is located some 10km south of the Venezuelan town.

Later in the day the bridge became the scene of intense confrontation between Venezuelan opposition supporters coming from the Colombian side and the Venezuelan security troops defending the crossing. The protesters pelted the police with stones while the law enforcement responded with tear gas, footage from the scene showed.

There are three cross-border bridges near Urena, including the one made internationally famous earlier this month by the US administration, which claimed it was shut down to prevent the delivery of humanitarian aid to Venezuela – despite the connection never being open to traffic.

In a separate incident in the morning, three members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) were reported to have defected to the Colombian side after driving their vehicle towards a security cordon on the Simon Bolivar bridge. TeleSUR, a pro-government news channel, said the defection had been organized by the opposition.

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