Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Friday he has secured cooperation from the United Nations to obtain pharmaceuticals even as the opposition demands that the government accept a delivery of humanitarian aid from the United States and Colombia, who back self-proclaimed head of state Juan Guaido.
"We have permanent support accords, it's called humanitarian technical assistance, with the UN, and I have asked them especially to help us buy the medicines that the United States empire is denying us and they (the UN) have told us that they will help us buy all the medicines," he said.
Speaking at an event in the southern state of Bolivar, the leftist leader reiterated his unwillingness to accept the US and Colombian aid, insisting that Venezuelans are not "beggars."
"They have put on a show, a booby-trap bomb show to take people in, to deceive people," Maduro said of the aid sitting in warehouses just across the border in Cucuta, Colombia.
"They freeze and steal $30 billion from us abroad and the offer the ultra-right $20 million in rotten, contaminated food, that is the truth, he said, adding that 933 tons of medicines from China, Cuba and Russia arrived in Venezuela earlier this week.
Maduro again questioned US intentions toward Venezuela, accusing President Donald Trump's administration of wanting to invade the oil-rich country to seize its resources.
The US, Canada, the major European powers and several Latin American countries say that Maduro's May 2018 re-election victory was a sham and have recognized Guaido, speaker of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, as Venezuela's legitimate leader.
Guaido proclaimed himself interim head of state during a mass rally in Caracas on Jan. 23.
The Cuban government said Thursday that the assistance Maduro's enemies are trying to deliver over the Venezuelan-Colombian border is paltry and a "thousand times" inferior to the economic damage that Washington has caused to the South American country.
"The US intends to fabricate a humanitarian pretext for initiating a military aggression against Venezuela," Havana said.
Guaido vowed earlier this week that if Maduro continues to block the aid waiting in Colombia, the opposition will mobilize volunteers to bring the supplies in beginning Feb. 23
Maduro and his allies say US-led economic sabotage is to blame for the country's severe shortages and hyperinflation, while critics of the leftist president and his late political mentor and predecessor, Hugo Chavez, say their policies have destroyed a once-prosperous economy.
The US further stepped up its pressure on Venezuela - home to the world's largest crude reserves - by imposing severe sanctions on its oil industry late last month.
Trump has said more than once that he might order military action in Venezuela.