Humanitarian Crisis

 WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America) has published a report to address the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. They say that the crisis remains dire even though some aid has been allowed after years of refusal and denial. Here are the steps they contend need to be taken:

1/Name a high level State Department official in Washington exclusively focused on Venezuela

2/Direct the State Department and Health and Human Services to include Venezuela on the list for Covid-19 vaccination donation

3/ Publish a vaccination plan (The Maduro regime has never published a vaccination plan of it’s own)

4/Emphasize the role of the United Nations and NGOs to address the humanitarian crisis. Venezuela has too much corruption and lacks transparency

5/Press for a response that addresses the impact of the humanitarian crisis on vulnerable groups including indigenous peoples,individuals with disabilities, and immunocompromised individuals including those in need of retrovirals

6/Prioritize with an emphasis on women and girls

7/Provide resources to OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control) so it can move quickly on any agreement

8/Prioritize humanitarian agreements based on needs and not politics

9/Support agreements to end repression of humanitarian organizations on the ground

10/Commit to fully funding a UN-HRP (humanitarian response plan) for Venezuela

 So, what does this mean? The humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is a man made creation, a Chavista made creation. The normal humanitarian needs addressed in proposed plans like this cover things that we consider basic like food and medicine. Aside from the fact that the UN and NGOs are still only allowed to help the Venezuelan people on a limited basis as to allow more would be a tacit admission by the Maduro regime that Chavismo has failed it’s people, the government in Venezuela can’t even provide reliable electricity and fresh water and until they can do so the effect of any plan would be negligible.

 Economist Asdrubal Oliveres tells us that if the de facto dollarization trend continues in Venezuela the government may charge taxes in dollars. This is eerily familiar to the situation we had with the airlines a few years ago. Remember that one? The government required that airlines transact business in the local currency, the bolivar, but when refueling their planes in Caracas they had to pay the government for their fuel in dollars. The government wouldn’t accept it’s own money.

 News 18 reports the US Special Presidential Envoy For Hostage Affairs (what a title) and  top hostage negotiator traveled to Caracas somewhat under the radar and met with members of the CITGO Six who,as we mentioned last week, are now in their fourth year of detention by the Maduro regime. He also met with other detainees (that sounds so much better than prisoners).

 In a related article Telesur (government media) reports that in celebration of Human Rights Day, Nicolas Maduro, ratifies the regime’s commitment to the defense of Human Rights. I guess we’ll have to see what the ICC (International Criminal Court) investigation into Human Rights violation and crimes against humanity by Nicolas Maduro et al has to say about that commitment.

 Telesur also reports that the Venezuela Territorial Minister (what is a ‘territorial minister’ anyway?)  says 81% of Venezuelans are now vaccinated against Covid-19 putting within reach the government’s goal of 90% vaccinated by the end of the year. FYI, the last credible (not Telesur) report we saw had the rate somewhere between 35-43% ….a long way from the stated goal not to mention the reported figures.

 Telesur also issued a response to their account being deactivated by Instagram. “The Telesur team considers this act of censorship another attempt to silence an independent outlet.” (Really?)

 In an ominous warning the Venezuela Observarory of Violence reports that the de facto dollarization that is reactivating the Venezuela economy (and stemming hyperinflation, which the Maduro regime was unable to do) will lead to increased income inequality hence an increase in violent crimes including robberies,kidnapping and extortion. It’s hard to imagine an increase in income inequality with over 90% of Venezuela citizens already living in poverty.

 And speaking of poverty, Cendas-FVM just released it’s annual report on the cost of the Christmas Food Basket,containing 19 items traditionally consumed by Venezuelans in celebration of the holiday season. The cost came in at $374, an increase of 1,168% from last year. The average family would need 256 monthly minimum wages to buy the items in the basket.

 And while we’re at it, UCAB reports that Venezuelan average food spending is down anywhere from 24-34% this year. This as VP Delcy Rodriguez assures us that Venezuela is producing 90% of it’s food. Is anybody buying this? Or maybe she’s right and the Venezuelans simply aren’t eating.

 And then we have the IMF (International Monetary Fund) predicting that Venezuela will be among the countries that will not be able to recover GDP from pre-crisis levels. Which crisis would that be? ….So many to choose from…

 And yes, the migrant crisis continues.RUV  predicts Venezuela will reach 8.9 million  migrants by the end of 2022.

 OB Migra (Brazil) reports that 87% of refugee petitioners in Brazil over the last decade are Venezuelans.

 And sociologist Tomas Perez informs us that over 1,000 Venezuelans leave the country every day. That doesn’t get us to the numbers predicted by RUV but it still blows by the number of Syrian migrants to put Venezuelan migrants firmly in the number one spot in the world.

 Well we got through a whole news cycle without a story on the Venezuela election farce.There is actually some stuff out there but I thought you could use a brief respite.

 More tomorrow….


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