David Smolansky, the former mayor of El Hatillo and current head of the opposition’s Working Group at the Organization of American States (OAS) announced during a press conference today that the opposition had secured $100 million in humanitarian aid for Venezuela.

Smolansky’s comments came during a special meeting of the OAS in Washington, D.C., centered on the Venezuelan crisis.

Carlos Vecchio, the opposition ambassador to the United States, spoke during that event, saying:

The regime has not only created the crisis, but it is denying and manipulating it (…) the Maduro regime is blocking the arrival of humanitarian aid because they don’t need it. The ones who are going hungry as the citizens, not them.

The news comes on the same day that the secretary general of the organization, Luis Almagro, announced that the OAS had created an official fund to solicit aid on behalf of Venezuelans. Almagro said:

We continue to support Venezuela and her struggle for her rights: We’ve created a Fund at the [OAS] today to accept contributions destined for humanitarian activities in the country. Democracy is coming back to Venezuela.

Almagro also said today that the best help that Venezuelans could get would be to transition away from the Maduro dictatorship to a democratic system of government. On the current state of affairs in the country, Almagro said:

The crisis is painful no matter how you look at it,

Almagro also said that the crisis in Venezuela is “deliberate”:

It’s not the same to die from a health condition than to die from a deliberate action, because what’s happening is a deliberate action from the government.

Guaido Calls Out Regime Over Medical Aid Arrival

Yesterday, Minister of Health Carlos Humberto Gonzalez said on his Twitter account that 64 containers of humanitarian aid had arrived at the La Guaira port totaling approximately €25 million. In a tweet, Gonzalez suggested that the aid arrived due to a joint effort with a number of allied states.

Below, Gonzalez’s tweet:

Despite the blockade [sic], the Bolivarian Government through agreements with Cuba, China, Russia, Palestine, Turkey and the cooperation of multilateral organizations like [the UN], [OPS/OMS], [UNICEF], [UNFPA], among others, are answering the health needs of our population.

According to the state-owned VTV channel, the containers brought 933 tonnes of medical aid.

Speaking at an event earlier today, interim president Juan Guaido took credit for the arrival of the aid, suggesting that the opposition’s pressure on Maduro had forced the regime’s hand.

During the same speech, Guaido criticized the regime for what he argued is a paradoxical stance: asserting that there’s an international blockade preventing aid from reaching the country, yet using receiving aid from the country’s powerful and influential foreign allies.

Red Cross Aid Enters Venezuela

Liborio Guarulla, a former governor of Amazonas state, tweeted images today showing bags of what appears to be humanitarian aid marked with the Red Cross logo entering Venezuela from Colombia. In the pictures, a bag labeled “Hygiene Kit” can be seen beside another that reads “Nutritional Kit”. Aside from bearing the Red Cross logo, the bags also bear the European Union flag.

While it is difficult to tell from the pictures exactly how much aid arrived in Amazonas, they do suggest that a modest amount–probably just enough to meet the needs of a very small community–has arrived.

Below, Guarulla’s tweet:

HUMANITARIAN AID IS STARTING TO ENTER [Venezuela] THROUGH AMAZONAS [state] across the Guainia, Atabapo and Orinoco rivers on boats escorted by Venezuelan Indigenous persons food is arriving to the communities and settlements from Colombia organized by NGO [sic], Colombian Government and Indigenous [organizations].

Venezuelans Become Largest Immigrant Group in Chile

Chilean authorities revealed today that Venezuelans have become the largest immigrant group in that country, accounting for 23% of all foreign-born residents. According to the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (National Statistics Institute, INE), there are now 288,233 Venezuelans living in Chile, out of a total immigrant population of 1,251,225.

The latest figures push Peruvians–who for decades have been the largest immigrant group in Chile–into second place, followed by Haitians and Colombians.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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