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international news
February 23, 2019

The opposition broke through Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's blockade for the first time on Saturday, when a humanitarian aid truck crossed the border from Brazil.

With a skyrocketing inflation, widespread hunger, and hospitals lacking medicine, the international community — led by the United States — has been attempting to deliver aid to Venezuela. But Maduro has placed an embargo on any international supplies entering the country. The blockade stems from a political crisis in Venezuela, in which the opposition, led by internationally recognized interim President Juan Guaido, has questioned the legitimacy of Maduro's presidency.

The opposition movement has vowed to forcibly bring the aid into the country. The New York Times reported that their ability to do so effectively would signal Maduro's "loosening grip on power." Per The Washington Post, the opposition is also testing the military's loyalty to Maduro by "encouraging the armed forces to disobey" the blockade orders — indeed, three members of the Venezuelan National Guard abandoned their posts at the border and defected to Colombia.

The truck's crossing coincided with intensified protests on the Colombia-Venezuela border on Saturday, which involved Venezuelan authorities shooting volleys of tear gas on protesters. Some opposition leaders also reported the use of live fire.

As it stands, more trucks are moving toward the Colombia border. Tim O'Donnell

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