Venezuelan troops defect at the border with Colombia

  Three members of the Venezuelan National Guard defected Saturday at Venezuela’s border with Colombia, the Colombian immigration department said.

  The troops abandoned their posts at the Simon Bolivar International Bridge on the Colom

bia-Venezuela border and requested help from Colombia’s immigration officials.

  Also Saturday, soldiers with Venezuela’s National Guard

fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who were demanding to cross the border at Ur

eña into Colombia to work, according to a CNN crew that witnessed the scene at the Tienditas Bridge.

  Workers faced off with the soldiers, chanting, “We want to work!” before being disperse

d by the tear gas. Men with shirts covering their faces started throwing rocks toward the guard.

  US argues momentum for change in Venezuela is growing despite border violence

  These tense scenes played out Saturday, a day after violence broke out at a Venezuelan town near the border wit

h Brazil over aid delivery, leaving two people dead and 17 others injured, local authorities said.

  Tensions are running high at Venezuela’s borders amid opposition plans to usher aid into the country this weekend

in defiance of President Nicolas Maduro’s wishes. Maduro called on Venezuelans to “mobilize” Saturday. “Let’s

all take to the streets to defend our independence with conscience and joy,” Maduro said on his official Twitter account.

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