Trump to say Venezuela's move to democracy is 'irreversible'

Venezuela's government will distribute food to poor residents of the Colombian border city of Cucuta this weekend, the Information Minister said on Monday, an effort that would parallel opposition plans to bring in humanitarian aid.

Show strong support for interim President Juan Guaido, who the United States formally recognized last month.

Trump's latest appeal will come during a speech Monday in Miami where Trump will seek to ramp up the public pressure on the regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, following a series of US-led sanctions and diplomatic maneuvers aimed at ousting Maduro.

Mr Guaido has been recognised as the legitimate head of state by most Western countries and many of Venezuela's neighbours.

Additional storage centers are supposed to open this week in Brazil and Curacao, a Dutch island off Venezuela's northern Caribbean coast.

Sometimes working under awnings or tents, doctors, nurses, dentists and paediatricians have attended to local residents who can receive donated medications.

"If it doesn't enter on the twenty-third, it will enter on the twenty-fourth, it will enter on the twenty-fifth" of February, he said.

Maduro calls the aid a "US orchestrated show" and denies any crisis in Venezuela.

"And we're hoping that sense prevails and that the military allows the bridge to be open so that much-needed supplies can be sent across".

Venezuela suffers from shortages of food medicine and other daily necessities and also has the worst inflation rate in the world.

Speaking in Spanish, Rubio warned that blocking the entry of USA food would amount to a "crime against humanity" and those responsible would spend "the rest of their lives hiding from justice".

Three US military cargo planes delivered several dozen more tons (tonnes) of food assistance to Cucuta on Saturday.

Branson told The Associated Press that up to 300,000 people are expected to attend Friday's concert on the Venezuela-Colombia border featuring Spanish-French singer Manu Chao, Mexican band Mana, Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz and Dominican artist Juan Luis Guerra.

Mr Guaido appealed for the military to let the aid pass.

Maduro is now refusing to allow in the food, medicine and other supplies.

For analyst Benigno Alarcon, "as the regime closes the door on humanitarian aid, it closes it to a peaceful solution to the political situation in the country".

  • Joey Payne