The socio-economic and political crisis in the Latin American country of Venezuela deepened on Saturday when President Nicolas Maduro closed the country’s borders with Brazil and Colombia, thereby blocking humanitarian aid sent by the US from entering the country. This resulted in violent clashes between security forces and Venezuelan citizens at the borders.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has declared himself the interim president and wants the aid to reach Venezuela, has been recognised as the leader of the country by several countries.
Inflation in January 2019 hit a high of an incredible 2,688,670%. According to Guaido, the aid was organised to help citizens affected by the economic crisis, but according to a BBC report, Maduro called this a “security threat”.
Citizens of Venezuela attempted to cross the border on Saturday to access the aid, which includes food and medicines. Security forces used tear gas while protestors burnt down outposts and threw projectiles at them.
At least two people were reported to have been killed in the clashes. Aid trucks were also reported to have been set on fire. In videos posted on social media, people can be seen making desperate attempts to save whatever relief material they could from the fire.
The BBC reported that at least 60 soldiers had defected by late Saturday, according to Colombia’s migration service.