Venezuelans abroad denounce to be targeted by US sanctions
The People’s Power Minister for Foreign Relations, Jorge Arreaza, accuses some media outlets of spreading falsehoods in relation to the deaths of several Venezuelan minors who failed to receive a bone marrow transplant while in Italy.
The Foreign Minister recalled that the Venezuelan government was carrying out this social assistance through its oil subsidiary Citgo -confiscada by US- and underlines that Caracas did send funds to the health program, but were retained by the Novo Banco of Portugal to meet Washington sanctions.
This denounciation comes in reference to an article that Daniel Lozano wrote in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on May 25, which stated that the deaths of these children are due to the Executive of Nicolás Maduro had suspended that humanitarian program.
Beyond the case mentioned by Foreign Minister Arreaza, the US sanctions also caused a whole crisis of medicines within Venezuela. RT talked with some affected families to learn their history.
One of these cases is the one of Douglas Guevara, who moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to save the life of his daughter Isabella through a transplant that the organism of the minor is rejecting.
“That requires specific treatment, interday controls, echoes, all those things that are not being done at the moment”, Guevara explained.
All expenses of Isabella and 20 other patients in the world were borne by the Venezuelan company Citgo. Now they are waiting, while the oil company is hands tied after the blockade on its accounts imposed by Washington.
In the flesh
“We are the crude voice of what is happening in Venezuela, that the blockade is not to political leaders”, but “directed to the people, to the children, in this case, to my daughter, the six children that are here and many other in the world”, said Douglas Guevara.
Since 2015 Barack Obama signed a decree that declared Venezuela as an “unusual and extraordinary threat”, 30 pharmacists have left that country. In this context, Caracas has denounced that the Novo Bank has frozen more than 1,500 million euros -1,680 million dollars- aimed at the importation of medicines.
Added to this situation is the blockade by Washington to the State’s PDVSA. For the Venezuelan authorities, the US has applied sanctions knowing Venezuela’s high dependence on the importation of drugs, equipment and medical supplies.
Produce to survive
“If you do not have type 1 laboratories, which are the ones that produce the raw materials for the type 2 laboratory – which does exist in Venezuela – you have to import it”, said Henry Ventura, executive secretary of the Pharmaceutical Motor of that South American country.
“It is imported with foreign currencies and the currencies come from oil revenues”, continued Ventura, who added: “but since they have blocked the oil income and the banks, then what has been directly affected is the pharmaceutical sector”.
Knowing the shortcomings, the Venezuelan Government seeks to develop production lines of these inputs with support from other countries. According to the statistics of the Pharmaceutical Engine, 98% of the elements that the health system requires are imported.
Venezuela could become a pole of development of these inputs through its petrochemical industry. Now more than ever, producing is more than a challenge, it is a real need.