Tens of Thousands at Aid Concert for Venezuela

The stage for the upcoming concert

Venezuela's Information Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

It started off with attendees singing the Venezuelan and Colombian national anthems and calls for freedom and the entry of humanitarian aid, which Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wants to keep out.

Maduro has closed Venezuela's border with Brazil and refused to allow humanitarian aid into the country, even though his government's economic policies have exacerbated a humanitarian disaster and led to extreme food and medicine shortages.

The dueling concerts will set the stage for a showdown between Venezuela's beleaguered government and opposition leaders who are pledging to draw masses of people to the country's western border Saturday to try to usher in aid that Maduro has vowed not to accept into the country.

According to Fox News, trucks sent by Guaido to the Colombian border to pick up the aid rammed into blockades set up by the military to prevent the opposition leader from picking up the food supplies and medicine on Thursday.

Paola Quintero, an activist for Venezuelan migrants, said that while the concert has had a positive, short-term impact on Cucuta's economy, many are anxious about what might happen Saturday when thousands try to move aid across the border.

Venezuelan singer Carlos Baute, one of 30 stars gathered by Branson to perform during the six-hour concert, said he was there "to open a humanitarian channel" for the delivery of aid.

Cristiano Ronaldo angrily taunts Atletico Madrid again after Juventus defeat
He went on: "It's not a nice gesture, I admit, but I felt the need to do it. We will work with humility so that we can get one.

Earlier, British billionaire Richard Branson backed the fundraising show, scheduled for 22 February in the Colombian border city of Cucuta.

Here, Chavismo, the brand of socialism popularized by Chavez, is still a force, strengthened in reaction to the growing power of the opposition, backed by the US and over 50 other countries.

The US Agency for International Development said on Friday that about 191 metric tons of aid had been delivered to a depot in the border town over the last two weeks.

Maduro has said Russian Federation was providing 300 tonnes of aid but Moscow has not provided details. Thousands attend the "Venezuela Aid Live" concert at Tienditas International Bridge in Cucuta, Colombia.

Riding by the bridge on his bike, college student Frander Duenas said he hoped to sneak into Colombia to see Branson's Venezuela Aid Live because he's a fan of the musicians performing.

Mr Maduro's vice president, Delcy Rodriguez, said on Friday night that the decision was being made because of "the serious and illegal threats made by Colombia against the peace and security of Venezuela".

Friday brought scattered violence, including several civilian deaths, in the run-up to Saturday's test - but also saw some troops declining to use force to stop convoys headed to the border to pick up aid.

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