A US Air Force plane carrying humanitarian aid, expected to be distributed by the Venezuelan opposition, has arrived in Cucuta, Columbia on Friday afternoon, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the airport.
The plane landed at 1:30 p.m. ET (6:30 p.m. GMT) at the Camilo Daza airport.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido set February 23 as the date for bringing in US relief aid that had been collected at several logistics hubs along the Venezuelan borders and in the Caribbean islands. The aid has been collected at logistics hubs in Brazil's Roraima, Colombia's Cucuta and on the Caribbean island of Curacao.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro described the plan as a prelude for invasion and promised to stop the aid from entering. The president warned that the US and its allies were using "the pretext of delivering humanitarian aid" to try to "destroy the independence and sovereignty of the country."
Earlier on Friday, Brazil military said that the country will stop airlifting aid to the town of Pacaraima on Venezuela’s border until further notice. A a Brazilian Air Force (FAB) plane carrying relief aid landed Friday in Boa Vista in northern Roraima, state near the Venezuelan border. Three trucks with 51 tonnes of rice arrived in Boa Vista on Thursday. The aid is stored in a hangar at the Boa Vista air base.
The situation in crisis-torn Venezuela escalated on January 23 when Guaido declared himself interim president, disputing last year's reelection of Maduro. Guaido was almost immediately recognized by the United States and its allies. Russia, China, Mexico, among other nations, supported Maduro as legitimate president.