U.S. military planes carrying aid arrive in Colombia

By Emre Aytekin

CUCUTA, Colombia

Three U.S. military aircraft carrying humanitarian supplies reached the city of Cucuta, near Colombia’s border with Venezuela on Saturday.

”To be very clear, this is not the first shipment, nor will it be the last shipment, not only from the United States, but we know that many other countries are joining as well,” said Mark Green, administrator of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The latest shipment to Cucuta, where a large number of Venezuelans who left the country due to economic problems have taken refuge, was the first humanitarian aid carried by a military aircraft.

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro has slammed the American aid and accused the U.S. of using aid as a weapon against his country.

Venezuela has been rocked by protests since Jan. 10 when Maduro was sworn in for a second term following a vote boycotted by the opposition.

Tensions rose when opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself acting president on Jan. 23, a move which was supported by the U.S. and many European and Latin American countries.

Russia, Turkey, China, Iran, Bolivia, and Mexico have put their weight behind Maduro.