Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela, Feb 25, 2019 / 19:01 pm
The Archbishop of Ciudad Bolívar warned Saturday of “very grave consequences” for the government of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro after the destruction of humanitarian aid that entered the country.
Archbishop Ulises Antonio Gutiérrez Reyes said on Twitter Feb. 23 that “the crimes committed today, killing people on the borders with Brazil and Colombia and the destruction of humanitarian aid, sets up another scenario that will bring very grave consequences for the regime. Enough is enough.”
Archbishop Gutiérrez also Tweeted Feb. 23 that “throughout Venezuela the great battle is waged today for dignity. Today is an historic day since the Venezuela we all want is reborn and nothing and no one is going to prevent it.”
Under Maduro's administration, Venezuela has been marred by violence and social upheaval, with severe shortages and hyperinflation leading millions of Venezuelans to emigrate.
Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president last month, arranged for aid shipments to Venezuela, but the humanitarian aid has been rejected by Maduro.
The Venezuelan military has placed large trucks and cargo containers on highways connecting Venezuela to Colombia and Brazil, whence the aid would enter. The New York Times reported that only one aid truck made it through Feb. 23, and that some supplies from Colombia were burned. The supply ship The Midnight Stone was stopped from reaching Venezuela with aid from Puerto Rico.
Four people have been killed in altercations between opposition protesters and Maduro loyalists since Friday.
Most of the Venezuelan military has remained loyal to Maduro, with only about 150 defections to the opposition.