Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza suggested that the United States was behind the burning of a truck carrying US Aid which made international headlines, blaming Secretary of State and former CIA boss Mike Pompeo for staging a false flag.
"The CIA expert in false flag operations, Pompeo, thinks he can fool the world with a truck set ablaze by his own agents in Colombia," said Arreaza over Twitter on Saturday.
.@SecPompeo, especialista de la CIA en operaciones de bandera falsa, cree que engaña al mundo con un camión quemado en Colombia por sus propios agentes. Aquí está la verdad: pic.twitter.com/ISFXmFMSAt— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) February 24, 2019
"@SecPompeo and their assassins are desperate to fabricate a pretext for war," Arreaza later tweeted, adding "If you want to find those who burnt the truck with fake humanitarian aid, look among your own employees."
.@SecPompeo y sus sicarios están desesperados por fabricar un pretexto para la guerra. Hoy la operación le salió mal. Si quiere ubicar a quienes quemaron el camión con falsa ayuda humanitaria, que lo busque entre sus asalariados. #TrumpHandsOffVenezuela https://t.co/qS73BEyHDz— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) February 24, 2019
Venezuelan television host Jorge Gestoso echoed Arreaza's sentiment, tweeting that the "burned trucks with humanitarian aid is another attempt to "provoke the invasion" using a "fake news" false flag.
Derecha de Venezuela incendió camiones con ayuda humanitaria en otro intento de provocar la invasion y difunde una 'fake news" -una noticia falsa- como si no fueran ellos los autores - la oposicion venezolana - del ataque : ver fotos https://t.co/UWGJIcxED3 vía @Pagina12— Jorge Gestoso (@JorgeGestoso) February 24, 2019
Pompeo took to twitter to denounce "Maduro's refusal to let humanitarian assistance reache #Venezuela," asking "What kind of a sick tyrant stops food from getting to hungry people?"
We denounce Maduro’s refusal to let humanitarian assistance reach #Venezuela. What kind of a sick tyrant stops food from getting to hungry people? The images of burning trucks filled with aid are sickening. pic.twitter.com/bJ1Qsxkgx8— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 24, 2019
Tensions have reached a boiling point at the Venezuela's border crossings, including a violent shootout near the border with Brazil that left two dead and 17 injured when national guard soldiers opened fire on a group of civilians attempting to keep open a segment of the southern border with Brazil for deliveries of humanitarian aid.
Anti-Maduro protesters, meanwhile, have taken to the streets.
"We want to work!" protesters chanted before being dispersed by tear gas and rubber bullets, after which the crowd hurled stones at the soldiers. Some among the crowd tried to dismantle a metal barrier blocking the Simon Bolivar international bridge, one of three major cross-border bridges near Urena, one of which has never been opened and was used by the US administration to claim Maduro had blockaded the country against outside aid.