Self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido had called on his followers to create a “human wave” and bring the “avalanche” of humanitarian aid across the borders from Brazil and Colombia on Saturday. He’d crossed into Colombia unmolested the day before, to attend a concert extravaganza in support of regime change and organized by British mogul Richard Branson. Rather than lead the charge across the bridges himself, however, Guaido was nowhere to be seen on Saturday afternoon, RT correspondent Dan Cohen reported from Cucuta, Colombia.
Rocks, fire & tear gas
Opposition supporters clashed with Venezuelan border security forces in several hotspots on Saturday, pelting police officers with rocks and setting tires on fire. In one instance, protesters ripped up a tree and used it as a battering ram against Venezuelan police vehicles.
While the Tienditas bridge – featured in a lot of Western media reports about the tensions on the Venezuela-Colombia border, but never opened for traffic – remained calm, there were several incidents at the other two bridges in the area, and police had to use tear gas on several occasions.
Another shocking incident happened at Simon Bolivar Bridge, where three apparent defectors who the government in Caracas called ‘terrorists,’ hijacked armored carrier vehicles and rammed through the border posts into Colombia, injuring several people with total disregard for civilian lives. With the military mostly maintaining loyalty to the Maduro government, only some 60 servicemen, including a number of officers, have defected so far – a rate that displeases both the opposition and officials in Washington.
Fake Red Cross & torched aid trucks
At least one truck attempting to get into Venezuela was set on fire, apparently before it could cross the border. Opposition activists circulated a photograph of the burning vehicle on the Francisco de Paula Santander bridge, though it was not clear who torched it and whether is was done deliberately or happened accidentally.
Meanwhile the world’s largest international aid organization has demanded that “unaffiliated” activists at the Venezuela-Colombia border not use their insignia, as it risks “jeopardizing our neutrality, impartiality & independence,” the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.