Venezuela aid shipments: what we know

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (left) is blocking US aid while self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido has vowed he will get the food and medicine into the country "one way or another" (AFP Photo/Federico PARRA, YURI CORTEZ)
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Caracas (AFP) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido's promise to bring in US humanitarian aid on Saturday has raised tensions in his standoff with President Nicolas Maduro.

Here is what we know so far about the aid plan.

- What? -

The United States has approved $20 million worth of aid. This includes 300,000 tonnes already stockpiled in the Colombian city of Cucuta.

The aid includes medical kits that US officials say will serve 10,000 people for 90 days.

There are also nutritional supplements that they say will feed 6,700 malnourished children.

Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain and France have approved more than $18 million worth of aid: some 70 tonnes. They say a further $110 million has been raised to buy more aid.

- Where? -

As well as Cucuta, Guaido says aid will transit to Venezuela from the Brazilian state or Roraima and the island of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles, near the Venezuelan coast.

USAID chief Mark Green said he had visited Curacao in recent days to discuss the aid shipments with the island's government.

Guaido says aid will also pass through the ports of La Guaira and Puerto Cabello. He says a first boat of aid has already left Puerto Rico.

- When? -

The first consignments from the USAID development agency were delivered to Cucuta near the Venezuelan border on February 7.

Guaido said a cargo boat left Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

He says the aid from the various points will enter Venezuela starting on February 23.

- How? -

It is not clear how Guaido means to get the aid into the country and distribute it in the face of resistance from Maduro.

Maduro brands the aid plan a US ploy and his military has blocked the goods from crossing from Colombia so far. Venezuelan authorities have also suspended sea and air links with Curacao.

Guaido has vowed he will get the aid into the country "one way or another", by sea and land. He has not ruled out the use of illegal trafficking routes.

- Who? -

Guaido is counting on the help of hundreds of thousands of volunteers in buses and trucks.

He has the backing of 50 foreign countries and British businessman Richard Branson, who has organized a "Venezuela Aid Live" concert in Cucuta for Friday night.

The performers include Columbian singers Carlos Vives and Juanes and Puerto Rican star Luis Fonsi.

Maduro plans a rival concert around 1,000 feet (300 meters) away on the Venezuelan side of the border. He also plans a rival program of food and medicine distribution in Cucuta.

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