First Red Cross Humanitarian Aid Arrives In Venezuela
Sumaira FH 6 days ago Tue 16th April 2019 | 11:14 PM
The first shipment of Red Cross humanitarian aid arrived in crisis-wracked Venezuela on Tuesday following approval from President Nicolas Maduro's government, an official told AFP
Venezuela has suffered more than four years of recession marked by shortages of basic necessities such as food and medicine.
Last week, Maduro and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came to an agreement to allow in the humanitarian aid.
Supplies destined for Venezuela's long-suffering population formed the basis of a stand-off between Maduro and parliament speaker Juan Guaido, who launched a direct challenge to the president's authority in January.
But despite a highly publicized campaign, he failed to force humanitarian aid stockpiled over the border in Colombia into the country as the military -- which remains loyal to Maduro -- blockaded a bridge crossing.
Maduro claimed the aid was nothing more than a smokescreen to cover a US-led invasion.
But last week he said on national tv and radio that his government and the Red Cross had agreed "to work together with UN agencies to bring into Venezuela all the humanitarian aid that can be brought." Guaido blames government incompetence and corruption for his country's crisis.
Last month, the ICRC announced it would begin in early April a first phase of aid distribution to help 650,000 people.