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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The crisis in Venezuela may reach a flash point this weekend as Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro vows not to allow humanitarian aid from the United States to enter the country.
Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro has fired back at President Donald Trump’s call for the military to support the nation’s interim-President Juan Guaidó.
President Trump was in Miami on Monday calling on the Venezuelan military to allow the aid to reach the people who need it, but today Maduro and the country’s top general said that will not happen.
Referring to Trump’s speech, Maduro said the following:
Maduro responds to Trump’s speech:
“A tired rhetoric questioning our right as a free country to adopt the ideas of socialism which is humane and Christian. It was a Nazi-style speech.”
President Trump sent a strong message that the US stands behind the interim president of Venezuela Juan Guaidó and urged Venezuela’s military to switch their support to him.
Maduro responded, “Donald Trump wants to ban ideologies. The political ideologies and wants to impose his way of thinking of the white supremacists in the White House. No! Venezuela will continue with its division of ideologies. We will continue to be multiracial.”
While much of Trump’s speech was directed at the Venezuelan military asking them to put down their arms and allow humanitarian aide from the US to enter Venezuela, the country’s top general said called Trump’s speech arrogant, saying the military will remain loyal to the Maduro government.
“President Donald Trump gave a speech in Florida and we could not contain our shock at the arrogant bullying tone and stubbornness in his words.”
Meanwhile, in nearby Colombia, a stage is going up for a weekend concert that aims to bring attention to Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis. The event is organized by billionaire Richard Branson, a backer of opposition leader Juan Guaidó.
Some 700,000 people are expected to attend that concert on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. Meanwhile, the Maduro regime is planning a counter-concert and plans to distribute 300 tons of humanitarian aid he said is arriving from Russia.
Trump issued the call during a speech Monday at the FIU Ocean Bank Convocation Center on the main campus in West Miami-Dade, just south of Doral, home to the largest concentration of Venezuelans in the U.S.
During the speech, President Trump called on Maduro to formally leave power in Venezuela and allow Guaidó’s government to take over.
“Maduro is not a Venezuelan patriot. He is a Cuban puppet, that’s what he is,” said Trump.
Guaidó has invoked articles 233 and 333 of the Venezuelan constitution to become interim president. Those articles stipulate that when there is no president, the president of the National Assembly assumes power.
The country’s National Assembly deemed Maduro’s recent presidential reelection a sham after opposition parties were not allowed to participate, leaving a void at the presidency.
The Trump administration, along with 50 other nations, have declared Guaidó, the president of the National Assembly, the rightful president of Venezuela.
“The days of socialism and communism are numbered, not only in Venezuela but in Nicaragua and in Cuba as well,” he said, adding that both countries have “such unbelievable potential.”
Trump’s message to the Venezuelan military, “If you choose this path, you will lose everything.”
Guaidó has called for a massive worldwide march for February 23 to let humanitarian aid into the country.