(Bloomberg) -- A second U.S. cargo of humanitarian aid for Venezuela arrived at the Colombian border, adding pressure on the Nicolas Maduro administration to accept supplies of food and medicine and help alleviate a burgeoning crisis.
U.S. military airplanes loaded with food, medicine and hygiene kits took off from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Miami and landed at the Colombian border city of Cucuta on Saturday. The aid now sits alongside relief supplies that arrived on Feb. 8. Warehouses of goods in Houston and Miami stand “ready for immediate deployment to the region,” the U.S. Embassy in Colombia said in a statement. More aid is scheduled to arrive next week, it said.
“Over the next several days, the United States will deliver over 180 metric tons of supplies, including hygiene kits, food items, and other supplies to be prepositioned for Venezuela,” U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, National Assembly leader Juan Guaido said thousands of Venezuelans have volunteered to meet on Feb. 23 and escort the aid through barricades amassed on an unused bridge that connects the two nations. Maduro has ordered his security forces to block the supplies, saying they are part of a scheme cooked up by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to provide a pretext for intervention.
Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson is planning a Live Aid-style concert at Cucuta for Feb. 22 in a bid to pressure the Maduro government to let in humanitarian aid supplies.
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