After US coup attempts targeting the Nicolas Maduro government failed to produce the desired result over the past two months, it appears things are about to heat up again, as the White House grasps at any incident that could again take Venezuela into international spotlight, ramping up external pressures amid continued infrastructural collapse and mass power outages.
National security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday evening tweeted a video showing ongoing mayhem at a key border crossing with Colombia, where desperate Venezuelans have been attempting to break through Maduro forces imposed barriers: "The Venezuelan people have broken through Maduro’s barricades and have begun moving humanitarian aid from Colombia across the border. Another important victory for Interim President Juan Guaido," Bolton stated.
The Venezuelan people have broken through Maduro’s barricades and have begun moving humanitarian aid from Colombia across the border. Another important victory for Interim President Juan Guaido. https://t.co/0qXYj8jHIr— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) April 2, 2019
Bolton called attention to the footage described as showing "the moment Venezuelans broke down the barriers on the Simon Bolivar bridge to cross back into Venezuela with supplies."
It appears the White House plans to put continued focus on border clashes following the late February failed attempt of US-backed "interim president" Juan Guaido personally leading humanitarian aid caravans from Colombia into Venezuela, in order to undermine and ultimately overthrow Maduro.
A breaking Reuters report described the incident to which Bolton referred as involving thousands of people rushing the border, which was blocked by large container truck barricades:
Thousands of Venezuelans broke through barricades along the international border with Colombia on Tuesday, according to the migration office in Bogota, which warned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that he would be held responsible for any problems that may occur.
Maduro in February blocked bridges joining the two nations in a bid to prevent a U.S.-backed effort to distribute hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to the crisis-wracked nation.
With bridges blocked by containers and trucks, Venezuelans have been wading through the Tachira River to reach the city of Cucuta, on Colombia’s northern border, to find food, medicines and work. But torrential rains in recent days has made that impossible.
Members of Venezuela’s Bolivarian National Guard (GNB) have been stationed at key border crossings, fearful also that exiled Venezuelan military defectors could bring arms into the country to stage a military revolt.
But the border crisis is also largely economic, as millions of Venezuelans have sought passage to neighboring Colombia due to food, medical, and electricity supply shortages. Many also seek to obtain jobs in neighboring countries while maintaining their homes in border towns on the Venezuelan side.
Thus it appears that in this case Venezuelans are trying to break out of the country across to Colombia to grab any supplies available, which means Bolton appears to be completely misreading or perhaps willfully distorting the whole incident.
As Venezuelans flooded across the border, Colombia's migration agency warned Venezuela that it was responsible for any mishap and the safety of its citizens.
#URGENTE || A está hora 11:04 AM, venezolanos de lado colombiano del puente #SimónBolívar rompieron piquete de la GNB para ingresar a #Venezuela con alimentos tras crecida del río #Táchira. pic.twitter.com/KYDqcns7xW— Gaby Arellano (@gabyarellanoVE) April 2, 2019
"The usurper Maduro is responsible for anything that may happen to the population that is transiting between the two countries," Christian Kruger, head of Colombia's migration office said late Tuesday.
Thousands of Venezuelans broke through barricades on a bridge linking Venezuela with Colombia, according to the migration office in Bogota.
Some climbed over containers that the Venezuelan military had placed on the Simon Bolivar bridge to block access to the Colombian border city of Cucuta. — Deutsche Welle
It also must be remembered that during the late February crisis along the border at the Francisco de Paula Santander International Bridge, two aid trucks were set on fire — an incident blamed by the US on Maduro forces, but later proven to be the work of the opposition, which suggests Washington is ever willing to use "false flag" events to escalate the crisis.
Are we in for a "round 2" incident at the border? Likely something big is about to happen now that Washington planners are increasingly out of options, given Maduro's weathering the crisis and international pressures and sanctions against him thus far.
The Venezuelan government previously condemned all Washington and right-wing opposition groups' attempts at creating provocations to initiate greater international action against Caracas and legitimate authorities.