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US military aircraft to send aid to Venezuela

Key Points
  • The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, according to a leaked State Department email to Congress.
  • This is the first time the U.S. military is being used to deploy aid for Venezuela.
  • The 250 tons of emergency supplies will begin arriving Saturday to the border city of Cucuta.
A volunteer carries a bag with US humanitarian aid in Cucuta, Colombia, on the border with Tachira, Venezuela, on February 8, 2019
Raul Arboleda | AFP | Getty Images

The Trump administration is sending another large shipment of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan border in Colombia, this time using U.S. military aircraft to pressure Nicolas Maduro to give up power, according to a leaked State Department email to Congress.

The 250 tons of emergency supplies will begin arriving Saturday to the border city of Cucuta, where tons of boxes of emergency supplies stamped with the U.S. flag are already warehoused waiting for delivery into Venezuela.

The email sent Friday was provided to The Associated Press by a congressional aide who isn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

While the U.S. military has long supported civilian-led humanitarian assistance missions around the world this is the first time they are being used to deploy aid for Venezuela.

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Key Points
  • Alongside several other countries, the U.S. immediately recognized Guaido as the Latin American country's rightful interim leader, ramping up the pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.
  • It has thrust Venezuela into uncharted territory — with the oil-rich, but cash-poor, country in the midst of the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere in recent memory.