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Maduro responsible for safety of Colombian embassy staff: minister

Maduro responsible for safety of Colombian embassy staff: minister

Canada recently announced $53-million in aid for Venezuelans affected by the crisis, but the majority of the money will go to non-governmental organizations in bordering countries, such as Brazil and Colombia, where millions of Venezuelan refugees have fled.

Early Saturday two large trucks carrying eight tonnes of emergency aid left Boa Vista in Brazil en route to the Venezuelan border. AFP reporters said shots were fired in the town after armed men arrived on motorcycles.

Three of them crossed the Simon Bolivar bridge, which links Venezuela with Colombia, after using a tank to escape, the spokesman said.

Guaido said he's standing among tonnes of supplies, but that Maduro's government favours blocking it from entering peacefully into Venezuela, where it could save lives.

Venezuelans in support of Maduro heeded his request, and began to congregate by the thousands in the country's capital of Caracas to show their support, as his opposition congregates at border crossings.

"If everybody agrees that one of the ways to get assistance into Venezuela is across border ... then of course from the UN's point of view that's fine".

Maduro blames U.S. sanctions and financial speculation for Venezuela's economic woes.

Rising tensions have erupted amid opposition leader and self-declared President Juan Guaido's decision to lead a caravan with thousands of volunteers to the Colombian border to collect at least 200 tons of humanitarian aid, primarily food and medicine.

Guaido rose to power last month, arguing that Nicolas Maduro's re-election in May 2018 was invalid and marred by vote-rigging.

It is even expected that the Colombian Head of State will attend Friday the reception of a shipment with the supposed collection sent in a C-17 plane from the United States, whose government leads the meddling crusade against the legitimate government of Nicolas Maduro.

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The attack on Indian troops was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e Mohammad (JeM) militant group. He did not elaborate on who else apart from the U.S. was talking to India and Pakistan.

Guaido claimed in a tweet the aid had succesfuly passed into Venezuela, but Al Jazeera was not able to verify this. Venezuelan authorities should carry out "the critical economic and political reforms necessary to end the hyperinflation, supply shortages, and corruption at the heart of this crisis".

On Saturday, clashes between Maduro's opponents and military and law enforcement were reported in several regions of Venezuela. A Venezuelan general was negotiating with the tribe for the return of three lieutenants and a sergeant captured by the indigenous forces.

On Friday, British billionaire Richard Branson is putting on a Live Aid-style concert in Cúcuta created to highlight the crisis as well as raise funds for medical relief.

The "Venezuela Live Aid" concert, which featured some of the biggest names in Spanish-language music, was broadcast live online.

The aid consists of food kits "containing rice, beans, sugar, and salt to feed almost 3,500 people for 10 days and additional rice to feed an estimated 6,100 people for one month", a fact sheet from the State Department says.

The Venezuelan government has also closed its maritime border with Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire and, in the western state of Falcon, stopped flights to and from those islands.

Guaido rallied his supporters when he showed up at the concert on Friday joined by Colombian President Ivan Duque, Chile's Sebastian Pinera and Mario Abdo of Paraguay. The leaders greeted the crowd before the concert ended. He spoke on Saturday from the border town of Cucuta, Colombia, where the USA aid has been stored.

"Performers took to the stage against a giant backdrop emblazoned with the words "#Trump Hands off Venezuela", with around 2,500 people in attendance.

"We hope there will not be violence around this situation because we have to recognize that there are people in need in Venezuela", Ms. Bibeau said. Among countries that voiced support for Maduro are Russia, Belarus, Bolivia, Iran, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Syria and Turkey.