SAN ANTONIO (Sputnik) – Venezuelan opposition activists started throwing Molotov cocktails at Venezuelan troops deployed at the Simon Bolivar Bridge on the border with Colombia, a Sputnik correspondent reported Monday.

Activists also threw stones at the security forces, who responded with tear gas. The troops also prepared water cannons to prevent possible illegal border crossings.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan National Guard has started to deploy additional forces to the Simon Bolivar Bridge on the country’s western border with Colombia amid continued clashes between the security forces and protesters, a Sputnik correspondent reported.

Clashes on the Venezuelan-Colombian border erupted on Saturday amid attempts to bring in unauthorized aid into Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said he believes that the aid deliveries are a ploy to topple his government, while Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez has dismissed allegations about a humanitarian crisis in the country and recalled that international law provided for deliveries of foreign humanitarian aid only in cases of natural disasters and armed conflicts.

The border crisis has already resulted in Maduro’s decision to cut off all political and diplomatic ties with Colombia and close several border crossings, including the Simon Bolivar Bridge to prevent the unauthorized shipment of humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence said during a Lima Group meeting on Monday that Washington would continue its efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to Venezuela and would provide an additional $56 million to US partners in the region. Pence also said that the US is planning to announce new sanctions against Venezuela’s government in coming days.

However, the United Nations and the Red Cross have urged Washington not to politicize humanitarian assistance and not to deliver any aid without the consent of the Venezuelan government.

Last month, Maduro accused Washington of trying to orchestrate a coup after US-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president. Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey, Bolivia and a number of other states reaffirmed their support for constitutionally elected Maduro as Venezuela’s only legitimate president after the United States and several allies recognized Guaido.
Mexico and Uruguay have refused to recognize Guaido, declaring themselves neutral and promoting crisis settlement via dialogue.

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