US to send aid to crisis-hit Venezuela as protests intensifies


The US says it is sending aid to crisis-hit Venezuela following a request from Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader who has declared himself interim president.

Guaidó’s move last month won swift backing from the US and others but triggered a power struggle.

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has accused him of mounting a coup and retains major international allies.

He has dismissed US offers of aid as a pretext for military intervention.

Saturday saw thousands take to the streets of the capital Caracas for protests in support of both President Maduro and Guaidó.

Crucially, Maduro retains the support of the military, but ahead of the demonstrations Guaidó was given a boost after an air force general – Francisco Yanez – became the highest-ranking military official yet to pledge support for the opposition leader.

Guaidó said he has held secret meetings with the military to win support for ousting Maduro and also reached out to China, one of Maduro’s most important backers.