Venezuela crisis: Guaido vows to open aid routes with volunteers - Whisper Eye

Venezuela crisis: Guaido vows to open aid routes with volunteers

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó has vowed to open humanitarian aid routes into the country in defiance of the government.

Mr Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president, called on volunteers to help with distribution and said his plans would be ready next week.

A government official called aid “a Trojan horse” and said the country had a duty to defend its borders.

“According to our constitution, we have the right and the duty to defend our borders peacefully,” said Freddy Bernal.

He accused US president Donald Trump, who has endorsed the opposition leader, of just wanting to exploit Venezuelan oil.

Meanwhile an active Venezuelan army colonel said he had switched his allegiance to Mr Guaidó, and urged fellow soldiers to allow aid into the country.

In a video circulated on social media, Col Ruben Paz Jimenez said he was now backing Mr Guaidó and that 90% of the armed forces were unhappy with Mr Maduro’s government.

The defection comes a week after Air Force Gen Francisco Yanez pledged his support for Mr Guaidó.

However, so far most of the armed forces appear to be still loyal to Mr Maduro.

Millions of people have fled Venezuela as hyperinflation and other economic troubles render food and medicines scarce.

Since the outbreak of the current political crisis, Washington has announced sanctions on the Venezuelan oil industry.

President Nicolás Maduro, who has the support of the army, has rejected letting foreign aid into the country.