Venezuela partially closes border with Colombia citing threa

CARACAS, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez announced on Friday night the closure of three bridges connecting the country with Colombia.

Due to the serious and illegal threats from the Colombian government against the peace and sovereignty of Venezuela, the government has decided to partially close the three bridges, Rodriguez tweeted.

The three bridges of Simon Bolivar, Santander and Union are the most important border crossings between Venezuela and Colombia.

The move came after the United States and other countries in the region, in coordination with the Venezuelan opposition, declared their plan to deliver aid into Venezuela.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Friday that the United States will start moving the "humanitarian aid" across the border into Venezuela on Saturday.

According to a statement issued by the United States Agency for International Development, the United States has airlifted approximately 191 metric tons of relief supplies to the Colombian border city of Cucuta since Feb. 4.

At the same time, the United States began pre-positioning 178 metric tons of locally procured supplies in Boa Vista, near Brazil's border with Venezuela, the State Department said Friday.

Denying the existence of a humanitarian crisis, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro warned that the forceful humanitarian aid is fake and might be the first step toward a foreign invasion.

Earlier, the Venezuelan government sealed off the country's border with Brazil and suspended aerial and maritime communications with the neighboring islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao to block U.S. aid shipment.

However, Brazilian presidential spokesperson Otavio Rego Barros on Friday reiterated the humanitarian character of Brazil's aid to Venezuela.

Political tensions between the government and opposition groups in Venezuela came to a head after Maduro was sworn in to a new term on Jan. 10.

Juan Guaido, head of the Venezuelan National Assembly, declared himself interim president during a rally on Jan. 23, a move immediately recognized by the United States.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Friday that his government wants to have peace with the United States and hopes to sit down at the table with the opposition.