Last month, an US-backed effort to break Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro’s block on convoys at the border of Venezuela-Colombia and deliver foreign aid resulted on two people dead and another 300 injured.
The US government said that Maduro supporters were believed to be behind the chaos but a new report and video evidence from the New York Times suggests that a protester was seemingly responsible.
Unpublished footage reviewed by the New York Times looked at in conjunction with existing footage implies that an “antigovernment protester was the most likely trigger for the blaze.” The footage shows the same protester in a different video hitting a truck with a Molotov cocktail minutes before.
Here’s a video that shows some of the footage:
Maduro’s handling of the economy has led to chaos in the country and caused three million people to leave in recent years.
In addition to questions about the protester, Maduro’s critics say that he ordered medication to be set on fire, but the videos do not show evidence about the claim.
“Eyewitness accounts indicate that the fire started when Maduro’s forces violently blocked the entry of humanitarian assistance,” American officials said in a statement after being contacted by the Times.
The officials still held Maduro responsible for “creating the conditions for violence,” said Garrett Marquis, a spokesman for the National Security Council.
He added, “His thugs denied the entry of tons of food and medicine, while thousands of courageous volunteers sought to safeguard and deliver aid to Venezuelan families.”
Nearly 50 nations recognize Maduro’s rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, as the nation’s rightful president. He has been calling for international aid to be allowed into the country, but Maduro’s soldiers have been ordered to stop shipments in because he says they are part of a coup to overthrow him.