Venezuela's Maduro breaks diplomatic relations with Colombia amid aid standoff

Venezuela's Maduro breaks diplomatic relations with Colombia amid aid standoff

Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro cut diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia on Saturday amid a standoff at the countries' shared border over international humanitarian aid.

“Patience is exhausted, I can’t [bear] it anymore, we can’t keep putting up with Colombian territory being used for attacks against Venezuela. For that reason, I have decided to break all political and diplomatic relations with Colombia’s fascist government,” Maduro said in a speech announcing the diplomatic break, according to Reuters

ADVERTISEMENT

The Venezuelan National Guard was shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at anti-Maduro protesters at the border while the protesters attempted to bring humanitarian aid into the country on Saturday, CNN reported

Venezuela also closed ports of entry to Colombia on Friday night. Colombian President Iván Duque called on the world to demand that Maduro allow humanitarian aid to enter the country on Saturday. 

In the latest outbreak of protests, two people were killed near Venezuela's border with Brazil, according to The Associated Press

This weekend's uprising is the latest in several weeks of unrest in Venezuela as it faces an escalating humanitarian and economic crisis.

Opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself the country's interim president in January and is backed by the Trump administration and a number of European nations.

Guaidó announced on Saturday that the first trucks carrying humanitarian aid arrived from Brazil to Venezuela. 

Maduro has been accused of committing human rights violations and many Democrats and Republicans have condemned his leadership.