First shipment of Red Cross aid arrives in Venezuela

The first shipment of humanitarian aid from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has arrived in Venezuela.

The organisation confirmed that medicine and supplies to treat needy patients has landed in Caracas, as well as generators to power the hospitals which lack electricity, and clean water.

Following the arrival of the aid, the organisation pleaded that it would not be politicised.

Both the opposition and the Government have been accused of politicising the nation's difficulties, which rights groups say continues to cost lives as hospitals struggle to provide even basic care amid the economic and humanitarian crisis.

However, this appeared unlikely in a country where almost 25% of under-fives are chronically malnourished.

Images shared on social media showed workers in blue vests with the Red Cross emblem lowering boxes of aid from a plane.

The Red Cross announced in late March that it had obtained permission from officials to begin delivering assistance to the crisis-stricken country.

The delivery marks a recognition by President Nicolas Maduro that the South American nation is experiencing a humanitarian crisis, which he has long denied.

Mr Maduro said the aid would help his country survive the economic sanctions the United States has put on his regime.

Meanwhile opposition leader Juan Guaidó took his turn to claim credit for the aid's arrival, something he said was the result of popular protests, a victory for "our struggle".

In the past few months, Mr Guaidó has rallied the international community and collected several hundred tons of aid, primarily from the US, at the border in Colombia, but Mr Maduro previously refused to allow the aid into the country.

Past attempts by Mr Guaidó to get aid into Venezuela were blocked by Mr Maduro who claimed they were part of a foreign plot against him.

In February, state security forces blocked border bridges and repressed opposition leaders trying to deliver the aid.

The opposition has made the aid delivery a key part of its campaign to oust the socialist leader.

"It's not just a clear showing that even while accepting humanitarian aid do they recognize the emergency they created," Mr Guaidó said on Tuesday.

"A complex humanitarian emergency means that it wasn't a tornado, an earthquake, hurricane, or a landslide, simply that they created it."