At least four people were killed and 285 injured in a confrontation on the border between Venezuela and Colombia, as a shipment of US provided humanitarian aid set on fire.

The Venezuelan military closed the border, fearing that the humanitarian aid will be used to support self-declared interim President Juan Guaido in his challenge against socialist leader Nicolas Maduro. Venezuelan soldiers fought in several confrontations against protesters, although some of the soldiers also defected to the Colombian side of the large Simon Bolivar bridge which makes up the Cucuta border crossing.

The starving, impoverished country which was hit by the effects of the collapse in oil prices and the disastrous results of the Chavez-Maduro socialist take-over of the economy has faced tense protests and rival claims to power for years. The Trump administration joined with the opposition this month and declared Guaido as the legitimate President, in a move supported by most EU countries and regional powers. Russia, China and Cuba stand with Maduro.