Colombian President Ivan Duque at the Colombia-Venezuela border on Feb 24 (Image source: Ivan Duque)
Colombian President Ivan Duque at the Colombia-Venezuela border on Feb 24 (Image source: Ivan Duque)

Colombian President visits border with Venezuela following clashes

ANI | Updated: Feb 25, 2019 06:15 IST

Bogota [Colombia], Feb 25 (ANI): Colombian President Ivan Duque visited the Simon Bolivar international bridge at the Colombia-Venezuela border on Sunday (local time) to assess the state of affairs following violent clashes.
He was accompanied by Vice President Martha Lucia Ramirez, Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo and representatives from the healthcare ministry during the visit.
"We visited the Simón Bolívar International Bridge with @mluciaramirez @CarlosHolmesTru @MinSaludCol to review the state of the structures, dialogue with the community and share our message of encouragement to the Venezuelan brothers who seek the freedom of the neighbouring country," Duque tweeted.
This comes after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro severed relations with Colombia over the issue of international aid on Saturday, giving Colombian diplomats 24 hours to leave Venezuela.
Maduro has dismissed claims of a humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which is currently in the throes of a political crisis. He has rejected all foreign humanitarian aid and had blocked major highways near Venezuela's borders to stop aid from trickling in.
On January 23, opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself as the new President of Venezuela, dismissing Maduro's leadership amidst cheering protesters. The self-proclaimed President's bid was immediately supported by the USA, who recognised him as the interim President of the South American nation and rallied for other countries to support Guaido.
Mobilised by Guaido, a group of protesters tried to usher foreign aid into Venezuela on Saturday, leading to violent clashes with Venezuelan law enforcement. In fact, Guaido has announced that foreign aid has reached Venezuelan territory, outlining the people's rejection of Maduro's leadership on Saturday. 
Maduro has held on to his post despite calls for fresh elections by the international community, reinforcing that he would continue being the President of Venezuela. (ANI)