Venezuelan Government denounces arbitrary blocking of $10 million payment to COVAX - MPPRE

Venezuelan Government denounces arbitrary blocking of $10 million payment to COVAX

Vice-president Delcy Rodríguez denounced on Thursday the arbitrary blocking by Swiss bank UBS of $10 million, the last payment to the COVAX vaccine program made by the South American country to access an important batch of vaccines to immunize the Venezuelan population against COVID-19.

In her statement at the video conference “Unilateral Coercive Measures: Disrespect for International Law, Serious Human Consequences,” organized by the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry and the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, the Venezuelan vice-president said:

“On June 7, our Ambassador Héctor Constant Rosales, received a letter from COVAX informing our Government: ‘Since April 17, COVAX has received 12 transactions from Venezuela amounting to $109,968,081, leaving a remaining balance of $10,031’.”

Likewise, Rodríguez revealed that regarding the four remaining payments amounting to $10 million, the COVAX letter says they received a Swiss Bank UBS notice informing these payments have been blocked and are under investigation.

The Venezuelan vice-president reaffirmed that Venezuela made the full required payment to COVAX to acquire the vaccines that will be used in Venezuela’s vaccination campaign, and warned about the seriousness of this decision by a private bank backed up by sanctions against Venezuela.

“They literally use the words ‘blocked resources’ for the payment of Venezuela’s vaccines through the COVAX system,” she stressed.

Likewise, she highlighted that the U.S. lobby hides behind the criminal financial system: “They have the power to block resources that will be used to vaccine the Venezuelan population against COVID-19.”

Vice-president Rodríguez stressed that by only vaccinating the population of 10 countries, which today are hoarding 87% of the vaccines, this pandemic will not be overcome.

“It’s impossible. We’re not going to overcome the pandemic. Further terrible situations can arise, even a more complex form of the virus, if the immunization process takes place in an unequal way as it’s happening now,” she said.

Rodríguez added that blocking a sovereign nation’s financial resources is a characteristic of the hegemony of de facto powers such as the international financial system.

Finally, the Venezuelan vice-president stressed that nobody can deny that unilateral coercive measures area a crime against the people, who are their victims and geopolitical targets, and urged the international community to unite to defeat these criminal policies.