Venezuelans on Colombia border await humanitarian aid


The arrival of humanitarian aid for Venezuelans, announced by the nation’s interim president, Juan Guaido, is anxiously awaited by those who daily cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge.

This bridge, which connects Cucuta with San Antonio del Tachira, Venezuela, is crossed every day by some 35,000 Venezuelans seeking the minimum amount of food and medicines they need to survive.

And with Guaido’s announcement that Cucuta will be one of the three supply centers for humanitarian assistance, expectations are growing among the mass of pedestrians crossing this bridge and the other border crossing, the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge, which communicates Cucuta with Ureña in Venezuela.

Luis Carrero, for example, is a 47-year-old teacher who crosses the border once a week to buy medicines for his mother who suffers from cancer and who is now hopeful of getting the medication she has been missing.

“My mother suffers from breast cancer and unfortunately in our country the medication is non-existent,” he told EFE.

Carrero said that incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro “tries to look” stronger than he is, like when he vowed that no humanitarian aid was going to enter the country because Venezuelans “are not beggars.”

The teacher added hopefully “that when the humanitarian aid is allowed into the country, it is the Venezuelan people who will watch over it, accompany it and make sure it is distributed in the right places.”

The same hope was shared by Emberly Alexandra Quiroz, 25, who could not hide from EFE her exasperation with the Maduro government.

“I haven’t yet seen the aid, but when I see it, well...I’d love it to reach Venezuela so everything gets better and we can get rid of Maduro, because we can’t stand him anymore,” she said.

Guaido’s announcement of a “world coalition for the humanitarian aid and freedom of Venezuela” gave many new hope for the future of their country.

That is the case of Belky Lizcano, 61, a teacher who comes to Cucuta to buy diapers and milk for her nephew.

“May God let them enter Venezuela with this aid,” Lizcano told EFE, and stressed her disagreement with Maduro: “Yes we need humanitarian aid in Venezuela and we need it now.”

Hope is mixed with impatience in some Venezuelans, who can’t wait to see the more than 6 tons of humanitarian aid, collected primarily by the United States with the collaboration of Colombia, leave Cucuta and cross bridges to bring relief to a desperate nation.