President Nicolas Maduro has announced the closure of Venezuela’s border crossings with Brazil, as part of a sustained bid to prevent tens of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid flowing into the country.

Political tensions in Venezuela are reaching boiling point, with the poverty-stricken nation in the midst of the Western Hemisphere’s worst humanitarian crisis in recent memory.

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Speaking in a televised address from the country’s largest military base in Caracas on Thursday, Maduro said the border with Brazil would be “completely and absolutely” closed until further notice.

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