BBC – Soldiers from the Venezuelan national guard have left their posts ahead of an opposition-led effort to bring aid into the country, Colombia’s migration agency said.
In a separate development, Venezuelan troops have fired tear gas at people looking to cross into Colombia to work.
Tensions have been rising over a row about the delivery of humanitarian aid.
President Nicolás Maduro said the border with Colombia is partly closed to stop aid being delivered.
But self-declared interim president Juan Guaidó has vowed that hundreds of thousands of volunteers will help bring in the aid deliveries, which include food and medicine, on Saturday.
The first delivery of aid has already entered Venezuela through Brazil, Guaidó tweeted.
The delivery of aid to the stricken country has proven to be a key area of contention between the two men who see themselves as Venezuela’s leader.
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Footage posted online shows the soldiers requesting help from the Colombian migration agency to cries of “freedom” and “put down your arms.”
Local media report people jumping the barricades to cross the border at the Venezuela-Colombia border, while opposition MPs have posted defiant messages on social media denouncing the use of force.
The BBC’s Orla Guerin, on the Colombia border, said Venezuelans were begging soldiers to be allowed to cross.
Pictures show protesters burning outposts and throwing rocks at soldiers and riot police in border areas.
Guaidó was seen at the Tienditas bridge on the Colombian side of the border, where he was accompanied by the country’s president, Iván Duque.
Guaidó told reporters that humanitarian aid was on its way to Venezuela, in a “peaceful manner.”
“Welcome to the right side of history”, he told soldiers who had abandoned their posts, adding that soldiers who joined them would be guaranteed “amnesty.”
Earlier he had urged the military to allow aid trucks to enter, calling on Venezuelan soldiers to “put themselves on the side of the people“.
Three soldiers abandoned their post at this bridge by crossing into Colombia, while another did so at the Paula Santander International Bridge in Ureña, in south-west Venezuela.