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VENEZUELAN SOLDIERS ABANDONED BORDER POST

Soldiers from the Venezuelan national guard have left their posts ahead of an opposition-led effort to bring aid into the country, Colombia’s migration agency said.

President Nicolás Maduro said the border with Colombia is partly closed to stop aid being delivered.

But self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó has vowed that hundreds of thousands of volunteers will help bring in the aid deliveries, which include food and medicine, on Saturday.

The first delivery of aid has already entered Venezuela through Brazil, Mr Guaidó tweeted.

The delivery of aid to the stricken country has proven to be a key area of contention between the two men who see themselves as Venezuela’s leader.

Pictures show protesters burning outposts and throwing rocks at soldiers and riot police in border areas.

Mr Guaidó was seen at the Tienditas bridge on the Colombian side of the border, where he was accompanied by the country’s president, Iván Duque.

Mr Guaidó told reporters that humanitarian aid was on its way to Venezuela, in a “peaceful manner.”

“Welcome to the right side of history”, he told soldiers who had abandoned their posts, adding that soldiers who joined them would be guaranteed “amnesty.”

Three soldiers abandoned their post at this bridge by crossing into Colombia, while another did so at the Paula Santander International Bridge in Ureña, in south-west Venezuela.

A video posted on social media appears to show four soldiers publicly denouncing Mr Maduro and announcing their support for Guaidó.

“We are fathers and sons, we have had enough of so much uncertainty and injustice,” they say.

Meanwhile, a top ally of President Maduro has suggested the government would allow Venezuelans to accept aid “at their own risk”, but that no foreign soldiers would “set foot” inside Venezuela.

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