Trump threatening military invasion of Venezuela, President Maduro says

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro declared today that Venezuela has been threatened with a US military invasion.

Speaking to soldiers at a military base in Zulia State, a defiant Maduro said: "We have been threatened by the US empire, by the President of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump. He has said that he has prepared a military invasion against Venezuela, as if Venezuela had no one to love her."

In his State of the Union address last night, US President Donald Trump vowed to ratchet up pressure on Maduro, saying that the US stands with the people of Venezuela.

The Trump administration has also pledged NZ$29.5 million in aid and Canada has promised another NZ$78.4 million.

Maduro's government has steadfastly denied the existence of a humanitarian crisis that has forced some 3 million Venezuelans to flee in recent years, even while handing out heavily subsidised food staples to rally support among the poor, especially ahead of elections.

Venezuelan opposition leader and head of the National Assembly Juan Guaido announced today that food and medicine will begin to arrive in Venezuela despite statements to the contrary by the government.

Approximately 40 countries around the world have backed Guaido who says he has assumed presidential powers and hopes to force Maduro to step down to restore democracy in Venezuela.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores. Source: Associated Press