Venezuela crisis: Nicolas Maduro EXPELLS Colombia embassy staff as leadership row deepens

Saturday, February 23, 2019
By Paul Martin

NICOLAS Maduro has expelled employees from the Colombian embassy, in the Venezuelan capital Caracas, as relations with its South American neighbour continue to sour.

Sat, Feb 23, 2019

Mr Maduro, who is currently embroiled in a leadership dispute with Juan Guaido, confirmed the break in relations with Colombia as the Venezuelan military used tear gas against volunteers unloading aid near the the Colombia-Venezuela border. The footage taken on the Francisco de Paula bridge along the border was sent by a Colombian government source showed on Saturday.The bridge, near the town of Urena, Venezuela, is one of three across which opposition leader Mr Guaido is hoping to pass much-needed food and medicine.

The source said that Venezuelan soldiers had also fired rubber bullets – but it was not immediately possible to verify.

The clashes occurred as Venezuelan opposition leader Mr Guaido – who has been recognised as Venezuela’s interim leader by Colombia, the US and UK among other countries – gave a personal send off to an aid caravan from the Colombian city of Cucuta.

Mr Guaido briefly boarded one of a dozen trucks carrying US-backed humanitarian aid before they set off towards the border, where they were pushed back by Venezuelan security forces.

Colombia’s government said their contents would be unloaded and transported by “human chains” that have formed on the road that leads toward Venezuela.

More to follow.

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