Venezuela opposition leader sets deadline for Maduro to let in emergency supplies

Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who organized widespread protests Tuesday in Caracas against Nicolas Maduro, set a deadline for the embattled president to allow emergency food and medicine to enter Venezuela.

Guaido said he’s mobilizing caravans of Venezuelans to deliver the humanitarian aid across the Colombian border on Feb. 23, a month after he declared himself the interim president and called for Maduro to step down.

Guaido, 35, also said he was establishing a second collection point in Brazil.

“The armed forces will have a few days to decide whether to stand by the constitution and allow the entry of humanitarian aid,” Guaido told his supporters, ramping up the pressure on Maduro. “Enough of hunger, of misery, of usurpation of power.”

Maduro, who has come under intense internal and global pressure to hold free and fair elections as the crisis escalates, has refused to accept assistance, claiming it’s a Trump administration ploy to take over his country.

“Venezuela is a country that has dignity, and the United States has intended to create a humanitarian crisis in order to justify a military intervention, ‘humanitarian.’ And this is part of that show,” he said in an interview with the BBC that aired Tuesday.

He said he will reject the “minuscule crumbs that they intend to bring with toxic food, with leftovers that they have.”

Last week, Maduro blocked a bridge leading to the Colombian border to stop shipments of food and medicine.

Humanitarian groups estimate that millions of Venezuelans have left the country to escape the misery in the country because of the political and economic crises.

The United States and a number of Western countries have recognized Guaido, the head of the National Assembly, as Venezuela’s president.

With Post Wires