Pres. Trump to say Venezuela's move to democracy is 'irreversible'

Venezuela expels Europe lawmakers as aid showdown intensifies

Battle for aid puts Venezuela's Juan Guaido on collision course with army

Russian Federation will deliver 300 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas on Wednesday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said. As the monthslong political crisis continues, Trump is to make a public case to Venezuela's military, which could play a decisive role in the stalemate, to support Guaido's government.

Guaido is counting on USA -backed shipments to persuade his country's military to recognize him and create an opening for desperately needed relief, while Maduro has ordered his security forces to block supplies he says are a pretext for intervention by the Trump administration.

The U.S.is storing food and medical supplies in the Colombian border town of Cucuta ahead of National Assembly leader Juan Guaido's February 23 deadline for the Venezuelan military to allow humanitarian aid to enter.

Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, both Florida Republicans, traveled to the Colombia-Venezuela border on Sunday to visit aid facilities as cargoes with humanitarian resources arrive.

Critics say Maduro's re-election past year was fraudulent, making his second term illegal.

Guaido on January 23 declared himself the country's leader until a free election can be called, asking the Venezuelan military to help him, and saying Maduro's 2018 re-election was illegitimate. The aid shipments have been meant in part to dramatize the hyperinflation and shortages of food and medicine that are gripping Venezuela.

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"We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open", he said.

The United States has had direct communications with members of Venezuela's military urging them to abandon Maduro, a senior White House official told Reuters this month. Trump repeated that he would stand against Maduro. Trump's aides have openly predicted more defections.

A source in Washington close to the opposition expressed doubts whether the Trump administration has laid enough groundwork to spur a wider mutiny in the ranks, where many officers are suspected of benefiting from corruption and drug trafficking.

"A new day is coming in Latin America, it is coming", Trump said as he took the stage in a speech to Florida International University, speaking directly to the Venezuela-American population.

Trump wants to boost support among Florida's Hispanic voters as he looks ahead to his re-election campaign in 2020, when Florida is again expected to be an important swing state.

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