Soldiers unleash tear gas during trouble at Venezuela border, in pictures

The Wider Image Malnourished Venezuelans hope urgently needed aid arrives soon

"They wanted to generate a great national commotion, but they didn't achieve it".

At one border crossing blocked by Maduro's forces - the Simón Bolívar bridge linking Colombia and Venezuela - the opposition plan to divide Maduro's military began to take shape with four members of the Venezuela National Guard abandoning their posts.

Venezuela's National Guard responded forcefully, firing tear gas and buckshot on the protesters.

Maduro on Saturday said Colombian diplomats had been ordered to leave Venezuela, which is in the grip of a major economic crisis, within the next 24 hours.

Opposition leader Nicolas Maduro has rejected the need for aid.

Venezuelan troops killed a woman, 42-year-old Zorayda Rodriguez, marking the first fatality since Maduro ordered the closure of Venezuela's land and air borders with neighboring countries, including Brazil, on Wednesday to prevent the entry of USA humanitarian aid into the country.

Guaido rose to power last month, arguing that Nicolas Maduro's re-election in May 2018 was invalid and marred by vote-rigging.

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Venezuela is gripped by a humanitarian crisis that has seen poverty soar during years of recession.

Maduro has presided over a massive economic crisis, with annual inflation running at millions of per cent, while more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled overseas.

Guaido, who most Western nations recognize as Venezuela's legitimate leader, gave a personal send-off on Saturday to a convoy carrying USA aid departing from the Colombian city of Cucuta.

Leaders of Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party call the aid effort a veiled invasion backed by Washington, and insist that the United States should instead help Venezuela by lifting crippling financial and oil sector sanctions. The opposition and countries supporting the aid caravan have been urging the Venezuelan military to defy Maduro's orders block shipments of aid.

Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said in a tweet late on Friday that Venezuela's government shut the Tachira border that connects it with Cucuta temporarily "due to a series of illegal threats" by Colombia.

Venezuela has also closed its maritime border with three Dutch Caribbean islands - Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire - ahead of the "foreign aid" operation.

Hundreds of kilometers away, near Venezuela's border with Brazil, two people were killed and 18 injured during clashes with security forces in the southeastern town of Santa Elena de Uairen.

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Gonzalez said soldiers shot and killed a 34-year-old indigenous Venezuelan woman and injured 17 others.

Guaido called on the military to arrest those responsible for the killings, "or you will be responsible". "The world is watching", the statement added. The vehicles are driven by Venezuelans and escorted by Brazilian police, organizers said.

On Friday, British billionaire Richard Branson is putting on a Live Aid-style concert in Cúcuta created to highlight the crisis as well as raise funds for medical relief.

The 35-year-old lawmaker was greeted there by the presidents of Colombia, Chile and Paraguay, three of the nations that have recognised him as interim president. Branson said, opening the concert before a cheering crowd.

Through his Twitter account on Saturday, Maduro emboldened Venezuelans to "mobilize".

"Performers took to the stage against a giant backdrop emblazoned with the words "#Trump Hands off Venezuela", with about 2500 people in attendance.

"I'm a homemaker and I'm here fighting for my family, for my children and parents, resisting the military's tear gas and soldiers on motorbikes", said Sobeida Monsalve, 42, in Urena.

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"Trump should worry about the poor in his own country", Maduro said this week. The United States has vocalized support for Maduro's opposition, while Maduro has received support from countries such as Russia, Cuba and China.

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