UNITED STATES: Four European members of the UN Security Council said Tuesday that sanctions on Venezuela have had no impact on medical aid to the Latin American country, following a closed-door videoconference.
“EU sanctions in Venezuela are targeted against individuals responsible for grave human rights violations and explicitly designed not to affect the population,“ Belgium, Germany, France and Estonia said in a statement. Britain was not part of their joint declaration.
“Therefore the sanctions do not impede humanitarian or medical assistance in any way,“ the statement said.
The text also expressed their “deep concern about the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“The pandemic risks having a devastating human impact in a country grappling with an already grave economic, social and humanitarian situation,“ the four Council members said.
“The EU members of the Security Council call for the depoliticization of humanitarian assistance and for safe and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the country,“ the statement said, adding that the European Union is Venezuela’s biggest donor in battling its humanitarian crisis.
The four countries are behind the convening of this rare Security Council meeting on Venezuela. They took initiative after Russia refused to include the humanitarian aspect in a session last week, which was requested by Moscow regarding a US military deployment off the Venezuelan coast.
On April 1, Washington announced the deployment as part of a massive anti-drug operation. Caracas, backed by Moscow, denounced the move shortly thereafter in a letter to the UN.
The Security Council’s last open meeting on Venezuela was in April 2019 when US Vice President Mike Pence went to New York to call for the recognition of opposition figure Juan Guaido as the country’s leader, instead of President Nicolas Maduro.
A closed-door meeting was organized in May 2019, but that was the Council’s last meeting on Venezuela until last week. -AFP