U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) went to the Colombian-Venezuelan border this weekend to call for Venezuelan “president” Nicolas Maduro to allow the aid trucks at the border to enter into the country. The United States has been shipping food and relief supplies from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida to Colombia, with the intention of transporting it across the border to help Venezuelans who are starving to death under Maduro’s regime.
Maduro, however, has so far refused to allow the aid to enter into the country, blocking the Simon Bolivar International Bridge between the two countries over which the aid was to travel. Juan Guaido, the opposition leader and U.S.-recognized president, has called for the Venezuelan military to allow the aid to come into the country. Rubio went to the bridge to help increase U.S. pressure on Maduro to relent.
Venezuela was once an economic powerhouse in Latin America, but has declined significantly under the rule of Maduro and his predecessor Hugo Chavez who implemented a so-called “Bolivarian Revolution” in the country to transform it along socialist lines. Beginning in 1998, the Revolution has caused immense political, economic, and social upheaval in the country, reducing its once prosperous citizens to despair. As previously reported, some women are now resorting to prostitution to feed their families.
The U.S. and other countries have begun to step up pressure on Maduro to resign and to allow the food supplies to enter the country to help the starving citizens. Maduro is refusing, perhaps because to accept food aid would be a tacit admission that the Bolivarian Revolution has failed, as has his “leadership.” Kudos to Rubio for going to the border in person to keep up the U.S. pressure and to encourage the people in the region and in Venezuela.