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Guaido’s trucks RAM through roadblocks to the Venezuelan border

Dramatic footage has emerged of a clash between President Nicolas Maduro’s troops and supporters of his rival Juan Guaido in Venezuela.

The clip shows trucks trying to ram through a checkpoint in Mariara, northern Venezuela, as security forces loyal to Maduro stand in its path.

It is thought to have taken place as supporters of opposition leader Guaido, who has declared himself acting president, made their way to the border to collect US aid. 

Maduro is refusing to let US supplies in, arguing it would be the first step toward a foreign invasion. Instead, he has accepted Russian aid and reportedly sent missiles to the border.

Meanwhile, the crisis is set to morph in to a ‘battle of the bands’ today with rival concerts taking place at opposite ends of a blockaded border bridge.

Flashpoint: Dramatic footage has emerged of a clash between President Nicolas Maduro’s troops and supporters of his rival Juan Guaido in Venezuela

Tension: The clip shows trucks trying to ram through a checkpoint in Mariara, northern Venezuela, as security forces loyal to Maduro stand in its path

Tension: The clip shows trucks trying to ram through a checkpoint in Mariara, northern Venezuela, as security forces loyal to Maduro stand in its path

Clash: It is thought to have taken place as supporters of opposition leader Guaido, who has declared himself interim president, made their way to the border to collect US aid

Clash: It is thought to have taken place as supporters of opposition leader Guaido, who has declared himself interim president, made their way to the border to collect US aid

Venezuelans cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge from San Antonio del Tachira in Venezuela to Norte de Santander province of Colombia

Venezuelans cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge from San Antonio del Tachira in Venezuela to Norte de Santander province of Colombia

British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, after being approached by opposition leader Juan Guaido, is bidding to raise $100million in donations through ‘Venezuela Aid Live’ on the Colombian side of Tienditas bridge.

On the other side of the crossing, closed off with freight containers, President Nicolas Maduro will hold ‘hands off Venezuela’ – a three day festival.  

Tensions are continuing to mount as the weekend approaches with Guaido adamant he will bring the supplies into the country on Saturday. The Tienditas bridge, is one of the conduits that he has targeted. 

Branson aims to raise $100 million in donations through his concert with big stars from the Spanish-speaking world scheduled to perform, and the presidents of Colombia, Chile and Paraguay vowing to attend.

The government has not said who will perform on the Venezuela end of the bridge. That concert’s slogan is ‘Hands Off Venezuela.’

The crisis in Venezuela is set to morph in to a 'battle of the bands' today with rival concerts taking place at opposite ends of a blockaded border bridge. Pictures show a preparations for President Maduro's 'Hands off Venezuela' concert 

The crisis in Venezuela is set to morph in to a ‘battle of the bands’ today with rival concerts taking place at opposite ends of a blockaded border bridge. Pictures show a preparations for President Maduro’s ‘Hands off Venezuela’ concert 

Maduro has accepted a shipment of medical equipment and supplies sent from Russia - while refusing similar 

Maduro has accepted a shipment of medical equipment and supplies sent from Russia – while refusing similar 

British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, after being approached by opposition leader Juan Guaido, is bidding to raise $100million in donations through 'Venezuela Aid Live' on the Colombian side of Tienditas bridge

British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, after being approached by opposition leader Juan Guaido, is bidding to raise $100million in donations through ‘Venezuela Aid Live’ on the Colombian side of Tienditas bridge

‘All the artists that are going to sing in Colombia must know that they are committing a crime. They are endorsing a military intervention,’ said Maduro. On Thursday he ordered the closure of Venezuela’s border with Brazil – one of the main potential avenues for aid delivery – as part of the power struggle with Guaido over bringing in aid.

Maduro said he was considering closing the border with Colombia, too.

Guaido meanwhile was travelling in a convoy of vehicles to personally pick up US aid being stockpiled on the Colombian border, defying Maduro’s military to stop him.

Recognised as interim president by more than 50 countries, he left the capital Caracas in a convoy of vehicles with tinted windows for the 560-mile trip.

The 35-year-old leader of the Venezuelan legislature proclaimed himself acting president January 23 and wants to oust Maduro, set up a transitional government and hold new elections.

Guaido scored important symbolic boosts on Thursday as 11 Venezuelan diplomats based in the US declared their support for him. 

Maria Teresa Belandria, Guaido’s designated ambassador in Brazil, said 100 tons of food, medicine and emergency kits were waiting to be trucked from Boa Vista to Pacaraima on the Venezuelan border.

A shipping container blocking passage is placed on a road crossing ahead of the 'Venezuela Aid Live' concert sponsored by British tycoon Richard Branson at the Tienditas International Bridge

A shipping container blocking passage is placed on a road crossing ahead of the ‘Venezuela Aid Live’ concert sponsored by British tycoon Richard Branson at the Tienditas International Bridge

Humanitarian supplies sent by the US wait at the Tienditas International Bridge in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia

Humanitarian supplies sent by the US wait at the Tienditas International Bridge in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia

Maduro is refusing to let US supplies in, arguing it would be the first step toward a foreign invasion. Instead, he has accepted Russian aid and reportedly sent missiles to the border

Maduro is refusing to let US supplies in, arguing it would be the first step toward a foreign invasion. Instead, he has accepted Russian aid and reportedly sent missiles to the border

Meanwhile, Maduro – mirroring Guaido’s move in an attempt to show his socialist government was able to look after its people – ordered a shipment of thousands of food boxes to be distributed to the needy along the Colombian border.

He also announced on Thursday the arrival of another 7.5 tons of medicine and medical supplies from Russia.

Shipments of food and medicine for the crisis-stricken population have become a key focus of the power struggle between Maduro and Guaido.

Guaido, who says 300,000 people could die without an influx of aid, says he aims to rally a million volunteers to start bringing it in by Saturday.

It remained unclear how he proposed to do so if the blockade continues, but experts have pointed to the notoriously porous 2,200 kilometer (1,360-mile) border, which is perforated by well-worn drug trafficking and contraband routes. 

Guaido, who says 300,000 people could die without an influx of aid, says he aims to rally a million volunteers to start bringing it in by Saturday

Guaido, who says 300,000 people could die without an influx of aid, says he aims to rally a million volunteers to start bringing it in by Saturday

Lawmaker members of the Venezuelan National Assembly and supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido clash with security forces as they block the road on the outskirts of Mariara

Lawmaker members of the Venezuelan National Assembly and supporters of the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido clash with security forces as they block the road on the outskirts of Mariara

Guaido said the planned entry points for aid were the Brazilian and Colombian borders, the island of Curacao and the seaports of Puerto Cabello and La Guaira.

The opposition says teams of volunteers will spread out to bring aid in through states bordering Colombia and Brazil and from the city of Falcon in the north which looks out to Curazao. Colombian police say there are some 30 clandestine border crossings into Venezuela.

Venezuela’s vice-president Delcy Rodriguez said the government was shutting down air and sea links between Curacao and Venezuela.

The White House said Vice-President Mike Pence would visit neighboring Colombia on Monday in a show of support for Guaido.

The US has repeatedly said ‘all options,’ including military, are on the table.

But Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao dismissed US threats of military intervention in Venezuela as ‘premature’ and said it ‘wouldn’t make sense.’

‘I think they’re more in the realm of rhetoric than action,’ Mourao said of the threats in an interview with AFP. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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