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“If They Want to Help, Put an End to Sanctions”: Venezuela’s President Refuses U.S Humanitarian Aid

Venezuelan authorities refuse Washington’s humanitarian aid organized by opponent Juan Guaido. Nicolas Maduro rejected this “alms” and demanded the lifting of the blockade and economic sanctions against his country.

Two blue containers and a red tank have been placed across the Tienditas Bridge lanes, on the Colombian-Venezuelan border: the Venezuelan government refuses to receive humanitarian aid from the United States, he considers it a Trojan horse to justify a military intervention evoked by Washington.

“They want to send two small trucks with four kettles. Venezuela does not need to ask alms. If they want to help, put an end to the blockade and sanctions, “said President Nicolas Maduro, assuring that he would not allow” humiliating “his country with a” show of humanitarian aid. “

This is not the first time Nicolas Maduro has called for the lifting of the economic blockade, largely responsible for the difficulties his country is facing. Since 2014, several rounds of international economic sanctions, mainly from the United States and their allies, have hit Venezuelans. Washington announced January 28 new sanctions against the Venezuelan national oil company PDVSA , prohibiting any commercial relationship with US entities; the United States froze at the same time its assets abroad valued at seven billion dollars. 

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Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who has proclaimed himself  interim president of the country, announced on February 2 the arrival in the coming days of humanitarian aid to Venezuela in three collection centers: at the Colombian border , in Brazil and on a Caribbean island. Bogota and Caracas, however, have no relations since 2017 and Colombian President Ivan Duque is one of the most fervent promoters of the policy of diplomatic pressure against Nicolas Maduro.

Venezuela, which has the largest proven reserves of crude oil in the world at  301 billion barrels  (about 17.7% of the world total), is experiencing significant economic difficulties, which are mainly manifested by runaway inflation and shortages, often orchestrated by the opposition. The oil, coveted by the great powers, is according to President Nicolas Maduro the cause of American interference in the affairs of his country. In an interview with RT on Feb. 4 , the Venezuelan president said, “What is  Donald Trump’s casus belli against Venezuela? The casus belli is Venezuelan oil, Venezuela’s wealth, gold, gas, iron, diamonds and other material wealth. “

Seeming to confirm this analysis, on February 6, Juan Guaido told the United Statesthat the national oil company PDVSA, could open to foreign investment. To do this, the law locking the capital of the company, held to 51% minimum by the State, will have to be modified. The Venezuelan Constitution of 1999 states that the company can not be privatized and retains the monopoly of hydrocarbons in the Venezuelan subsoil.

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Written by How Africa

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