Venezuela's Tense Showdown Ends in Chaos, Death

Embattled President Maduro digs in, dances the salsa
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2019 7:33 AM CST
Venezuela's Tense Showdown Ends in Chaos, Death
A man covers his face with a cap as he walks past a fire during a protest at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, Saturday, Feb.23, 2019.   (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

A showdown in Venezuela Saturday over humanitarian aid resulted in at least four deaths and 285 injuries. But the violence did little to resolve the nation's volatile stalemate: President Maduro is only digging in—in fact, he danced the salsa at a rally with his wife while denouncing the US—while opposition leader Juan Guaido (who considers himself to be president) is doing the same. "We must keep all our options open for the liberation of our homeland," Guaido declared, per the Guardian. Guaido will be in Colombia on Monday for a meeting with regional leaders, and VP Mike Pence will be in attendance. The US backs Guaido, and the White House has not ruled out military action.

On Saturday, Guaido organized shipments of badly needed humanitarian aid to be trucked in over the border from Colombia and Brazil, but relatively little actually made it into Venezuela, reports the New York Times. Guaido had hoped for massive defections within the Venezuelan military, but few troops actually did so. Maduro, meanwhile, took aim at President Trump at his rally. “It’s time for our people to tell Donald Trump, ‘Donald Trump, Yankee, go home, Donald Trump,” he said to the crowd in Caracas, per Fox News. He also cut off ties with Colombia. "My patience has run out," he said. (Ordinary citizens have been running short on food for a long time now.)

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