Tue | Apr 23, 2019

Military planes head for Venezuela with aid

Published:Sunday | February 17, 2019 | 12:29 AM
A C-17 cargo plane loaded with humanitarian commodities takes off from Homestead Air Reserve Base en route to Venezuela yesterday in Homestead, Florida. The United States is airlifting and pre-positioning additional humanitarian commodities to provide relief to tens of thousands of Venezuelans suffering from severe food and medicine shortages.

HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Florida (AP):

The US Air Force has begun flying tons of aid to a Colombian town on the Venezuelan border as part of an effort meant to undermine socialist President Nicolás Maduro.

The first of three C-17 cargo planes took off yesterday from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida and landed in the town of Cucuta. It’s a collection point for aid that’s supposed to be distributed by backers of Juan Guaido, the congressional leader who is recognised by the US as Venezuela’s legitimate president.

Previous aid shipments came on commercial planes.

Maduro has vowed to block the aid, which he calls unnecessary and illegal. He blames any hunger in the country on US restrictions and his domestic foes.

Saturday’s 180-ton shipment includes food or health packages for more than 25,000 people.