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U.S. Considering Airdropping Aid Into Venezuela, Providing Additional Support

ABC News: Venezuela standoff extends to oil sector as questions swirl over humanitarian aid
“Venezuela’s growing parallel opposition government extended its reach to the all-important oil sector on Wednesday when the country’s National Assembly moved to appoint new boards of directors to the state oil company and its refiner CITGO. … The move promises to further escalate the already-tense political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has claimed the presidency as his own. … The political crisis has been fueled by an ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis that has resulted in spikes in child malnutrition and shortages of basic foods and medicine. … Guaidó’s declaration that he would allow humanitarian aid to enter the country by Feb. 23 puts an ultimatum on the country’s armed forces…” (Weddle, 2/13).

Devex: USAID considering airdropping aid into blockaded Venezuela
“The U.S. Agency for International Development is considering airdrops to deliver aid to Venezuela as the military continues to block humanitarian assistance from crossing the border, the agency’s Latin America and the Caribbean bureau head said Wednesday. Steve Olive, USAID’s acting assistant administrator for the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean, told U.S. lawmakers in a hearing that his agency is in daily communication with Venezuela’s interim president Juan Guaidó regarding the logistics of delivering humanitarian aid to the economically collapsed nation…” (Welsh, 2/14).

Politico: Trump preps Venezuela aid package amid push to oust Maduro
“The Trump administration is strongly considering sending millions of dollars in additional humanitarian aid to Venezuela, according to three U.S. officials, as the country grapples with a mounting political crisis and its citizens face widespread food shortages. Senior administration officials have spent weeks quietly developing the aid plan, which could be included in President Donald Trump’s upcoming fiscal year 2020 budget request to Congress. The president also privately discussed the administration’s plans to send additional aid to Venezuela during an off-the-record meeting with television anchors last week ahead of his State of the Union address…” (Cook/Restuccia/Johnson, 2/13).

Additional coverage of the situation in Venezuela is available from Bloomberg and The New York Times.