The international effort to rush food and medicine into this collapsing socialist state was rapidly transforming Thursday into a high-stakes standoff between President Nicolás Maduro and the U.S.-backed opposition, essentially holding hostage lifesaving shipments of humanitarian aid at the border. Maduro has defiantly vowed to block more than $60 million worth of assistance organized by the opposition and provisioned by the United States, Colombia, Canada and other countries. Even as seven truckloads of aid from the United States began arriving at warehouses in the key border crossing of Cucuta, Colombia, Maduro loyalists pledged to use force if necessary to keep it out. Elliott Abrams, the State Department special envoy to Venezuela, said at a Thursday news conference that, while determined to deliver the aid to the Venezuelan people, the United States and other opposition supporters would not do so by “force.” “We will be moving aid […]