Maduro blocks bridge to keep out humanitarian aid, Colombia says


This Friday, when the “Venezuela Aid Live” concert is to be held in the city of Cucuta, Colombian Migration authorities complained that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered a number of containers welded to the Tienditas International Bridge on the border to stop humanitarian aid from entering his country.

“Last night, when Cucuta and the world prepared to raise their voices for a free Venezuela, the dictator Nicolas Maduro welded containers to the bridge structure,” Migration said in a brief note to the media.

Colombia Migration described the act as “a metaphor for a dictator clinging to power.”

The Tienditas Bridge, also known as The Integration, is one of Cucuta’s four border crossings with Venezuela and the place where some 600 tons of humanitarian aid are stored that will be transported to that country this Saturday.

The bridge infrastructure was completed as part of the projected integration of the two countries in early 2016, though months before the Maduro government ordered the common border closed, so the bridge was never opened.

Last Feb. 14, the Venezuelan government boosted the blockade of the Tienditas Bridge with heavy blocks of reinforced concrete and truck containers.

These obstacles were added to an orange tanker trailer and blue containers that were installed at the beginning of this month by Chavistas to keep the humanitarian aid out.

Seen in several videos taken by security cameras on the bridge and released by Colombia Migration this Friday is the moment when at least two workers start welding the containers to the bridge structure.

Also to be observed are several men in uniform on top of the containers and others joining in the welding process.

This Friday the “Venezuela Aid Live” concert will be held, organized by British billionaire Richard Branson and with the participation of 32 artists from Argentina, Colombia, Spain, the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Sweden and Venezuela.

The purpose of this musical event is to collect up to $100 million in 60 days in order to take the humanitarian aid into Venezuela.

The first delivery of that aid will start entering the country this Saturday over four border crossings from Cucuta.

The operation will kick off at 9:00 am and will be managed by one logistics authority on the Venezuelan side and another on the Colombian side.