Maduro breaks diplomatic relations with Colombia

CUCUTA, Colombia — Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced he’s breaking all diplomatic ties with neighboring Colombia amid deepening political turmoil.

Maduro spoke Saturday as opposition leader Juan Guaido launched an effort to bring international humanitarian aid into Venezuela from across the border in Cucuta, Colombia.

Maduro denies a humanitarian crisis exists, saying Guaido is a puppet of the United States which seeks to colonize Venezuela and exploit its oil.

Guaido made public appearances throughout the day alongside Colombia’s President Ivan Duque, an outspoken critic of Maduro and close U.S. ally.

Maduro asked for the blessing of a mass of loyal supporters in Caracas.

He then ordered Colombia’s diplomats out of the country within the next 24 hours.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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