Sanctions imposed on Venezuela have left it unable to purchase COVID vaccines: Foreign Minister

Caracas, April 8 2021: Economic sanctions imposed on Veenzuela by some countries including the US has resulted in the country’s inability to purchase the 30million corona vaccines they need. This claim was made by Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza

Millions of dollars of Venezuelan money are frozen in US bank accounts on the pretext that re-election of Nicholas Maduro in 2018 was through a fraudulent election. US and its allies instead recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s acting president. Washington has therefore handed control of the frozen funds to Guaido.

In total, Venezuela has received 250,000 of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, and half-a-million from China’s Sinopharm. Health workers, teachers and government officials are first in line. Guaido last month said he would allocate $30 million in the frozen funds towards vaccinations in Venezuela. Negotiations by Caracas to procure vaccines from the global covax program are in progress.

But no payment for Covax vaccines had yet been made. Like the rest of South America, Venezuela is battling a harsh new pandemic wave fueled, authorities say, by more infectious virus variants from Brazil. Officially, the country has had 165,000 cases and some 1,700 deaths, but observer groups such as Human Rights Watch question the numbers, which they say are likely vastly underestimated.

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