Indigenous Pemon on Venezuela’s border with Brazil vow to let aid in
Reuters: Venezuela’s Pemon, an indigenous people living along the border with Brazil, are determined to allow into the embattled country any foreign aid that may arrive, even if that means a showdown with Venezuelan security forces and the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Amid a hyperinflationary
economic collapse that has caused malnutrition and the exodus of millions of people, humanitarian aid has become a flashpoint in an intensifying political crisis.
Opposition leader Juan Guaido said last week a global coalition that includes the United States was sending food and medicine to collection points in Colombia, Brazil and an undisclosed Caribbean island before delivering the aid into Venezuela.
Brazil has joined the United states as well as most countries in Latin America and Europe in recognizing Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate interim leader, arguing that Maduro was re-elected in a fraudulent May 2018 vote.
But Maduro denies there is even a crisis, saying it is part of a U.S.-directed plot to undermine and overthrow his government. Six leaders of the Pemon community residing in the “Gran Sabana” (or “Great Savannah”) municipality bordering Brazil told Reuters that the population’s pressing needs should trump any politicization of humanitarian aid.