Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has ordered the border with neighboring Brazil to be closed. The socialist leader announced this at a meeting of his army generals.
The Maduro government also previously ordered the sea border with the Antillean islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao to close. This decision followed reports that Curaçao served as a kind of hub for humanitarian aid to Venezuela.
Maduro is threatened by the fact that the opposition wants to import relief supplies from abroad. The goods are already present at the Colombian side of the border. Opposition leader Juan Guaído, who is recognized by many countries as a legitimate interim leader, has left to the border to pick it up. The opposition also says that it wants to import goods via the Brazilian border.
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Maduro sees the action of the opposition as a cheap stunt to undermine his regime. His security forces have already blocked an important bridge to prevent relief supplies from Colombian Cúcuta. The president, in his own words, is considering closing the border with Colombia altogether.
The Brazilian president, Mr Jair Bolsonaro, has not yet reacted to the news. It is believed that if the US should decide for military action to be taken against the Maduro regime, that both Colombia and Brazil will side with US President Trump.