By Dan Lamothe

The Washington Post

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The U.S. military will begin delivering relief supplies to the Colombian border near Venezuela, U.S. officials said Friday, as the Trump administration increases its efforts to assist the opposition.

The relief includes food, hygiene kits and medical supplies, said a Pentagonspokesperson, Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis.

The State Department said it will work with the Defense Department and USAID to deliver the aid to the border city of Cucuta, Colombia, “for distribution within Venezuela.” A flight will department from Miami on Saturday.

“This humanitarian mission underscores the United States’ firm commitment and readiness to respond to the man-made political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela,” the State Department said.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the mission does not indicate that additional American troops will be deploying to Colombia. More than 200 tons of supplies are expected to be delivered.

The planned flight was first reported by the Associated Press, citing an email from a congressional aide.

The United States has continued to press Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down amid an economic and political crisis in which the National Assembly declared his 2018 re-election invalid in January.

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