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US assistance falls into Colombia in efforts to supply Venezuela



US Air Force C-17 cargo aircraft left the Homestead Air Base in Miami and landed in Cucuta, Colombia, according to a statement by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Supply deliveries include hygiene kits that can help around 25,000 people and food stuffs that USAID said can feed about 3,500 children.

The first aid wave arrived on February 8 and included locally purchased food kits, hygiene kits, medical products, ready-to-use supplementary foods and high-energy cookies, USAID said.

The Venezuelan interim president, Huang Guaido, called for hundreds of thousands of registered volunteers on Saturday to help get help in the country.

Speaking at a volunteer rally in Caracas, Guayido said that "the end of poverty will end, the humanitarian situation will stop," calling for help and opening up the "humanitarian corridors."

CNN was not able to independently verify the number.

Guaido also repeated his call directly to the armed forces to support his relief efforts.

The last aid is given a week after Guaido and the National Assembly of Venezuela turned to humanitarian aid. The Venezuelan government, headed by President Nicolas Maduro, blocked a Venezuelan-Colombian bridge last week, Colombian officials and a CNN photojournalist on the scene said, effectively blocking the humanitarian aid demanded by the Venezuelan opposition. Guaido has identified two other points of collection: the Brazilian-Venezuelan border and the still unknown Caribbean island.

  US ready to meet with Maduro as military help to deliver aid to Venezuela

Maduro rejected international aid by saying "We are not beggars."

Guadio declared himself the acting president on January 23, but Maduro was opened for a second term, which the United States, dozens of other countries and the Venezuelan opposition condemned as illegitimate – neither dismissed from office nor listened to calls for regular elections.

A high-ranking official from the administration said that the United States would be ready to meet with Maduro to negotiate his withdrawal

Maduro reportedly invited to meet with US Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams. The State Department and Secretary of State do not comment on the prospect of such a meeting, but Mike Pompeo said on Monday that confidence shows that Maduro "has increased the understanding that the Venezuelan people reject him"

. On Saturday in Germany, Vice President Mike Pence said that the situation in Venezuela is "a tragedy that requires a response from around the world."

Penn added that the United States "is proud" that Guaiod is recognized as the first country and today 52 countries, including 30 of our European allies, follow the American leadership.

Penn said that time for the rest of the world to recognize Guaido.

"It's time for the rest of the world to come forward," he said. "Once again, the Old World can stand for the support of freedom in the New World, all of us must stand with the Venezuelan people until the full restoration of freedom and democracy."

CNem's Artemis Moshtaghian, Jennifer Deaton, Sean Nottingham and Zahra Ulla contributed to this report.


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