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Venezuela opposition calls for international pressure for aid corridor

© AFP/File | Omar Barboza, the president of Venezuela's opposition-controlled parliament, called on the world to pressure President Nicolas Maduro's government in order "to save lives"

CARACAS (AFP) - 

Venzuela's opposition on Wednesday called for increased international pressure to be brought to bear on the government of President Nicolas Maduro to allow a desperately needed humanitarian aid corridor.

"We insist on the urgent need to put in place an international cooperation program on food and medicine," said Omar Barboza, president of Venezuela's parliament, the only authority controlled by the opposition.

"People are dying every day. We call on the world to put the necessary pressure to come to Venezuela to save lives," he told a news conference organized by the main opposition alliance Democratic Unity Roundtable, or MUD.

Under Maduro, Venezuela is going through the worst economic crisis in its history.

Hyperinflation has crippled the country, leading to shortages of food and medicine. Maduro has cracked down on opponents and nullified the opposition-controlled parliament by creating a Constituent Assembly packed with his supporters, which is effectively the only legislative body.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Venezuela to escape the growing deprivation.

Barboza welcomed the decision of the Organization of American States, meeting in Washington, to reject last month's elections, which handed Maduro a second six-year term, as "illegitimate."

The MUD boycotted the May 20 polls. Barboza said new polls should be held this year, with the participation of all Maduro's opponents.

© 2018 AFP