Venezuela seals border with Brazil

Venezuelan refugees carry their national flag after crossing the border into Cucuta Colombia on Feb. 12 2019

He has already ordered the military to barricade a major border bridge to prevent supplies from entering the country from Cucuta, Colombia, where tons of humanitarian aid are being stockpiled, most of it from the United States.

"This is the real humanitarian aid of Venezuela", said Ramirez.

"From February 21, the land border with Brazil will be completely closed until the new announcement", Maduro said in a speech.

Opposition leaders say they maintain contact with government officials and military officers, but keep such talks confidential to avoid affecting those involved.

Mr Maduro said he's also weighing whether to shut down border with Colombia.

The move came amid a standoff between Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaido over allowing global aid into the country.

Guaido said the planned entry points for aid were the Brazilian and Colombian borders, the island of Curacao and the seaports of Puerto Cabello and La Guaira.

In a video shared by Bolton on Twitter, Chirinos identified himself and called Maduro's government "illegally constituted", while dressed in a military uniform and standing in front of the flags of Venezuela and the United Nations.

Vice President Michael Pence will call for the ouster of embattled Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro next week during a high-profile visit to Colombia, a staunch US ally which shares a border with Venezuela and has taken in more than a million refugees from its crisis-stricken neighbor.

Fifty countries, including Germany, have recognized Guaido as interim president since he openly challenged Maduro. Maduro still retains the support of powerful nations like Russian Federation and China, as well as the key backing of the military. He swiftly received recognition from the U.S. and Latin American powers.

Gustavo Marcano, senior aide to the opposition's envoy to Washington, told reporters in the USA capital on Thursday that 11 diplomats in the United States have defected from Maduro's government since Guaido declared himself interim president.

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