Venezuela: the Red Cross distributes the first emergency supplies

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For the first time since the crisis began in the country, the Red Cross has distributed drinking water and medicines to the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. The self-proclaimed transition president Guaidó celebrates it as a success.

After weeks of fighting for humanitarian assistance in Venezuela, the Red Cross distributed the first relief supplies to the country of the South American crisis. Humanitarian workers brought drinking water and tablets for the purification of water in various parts of the capital of Caracas.

"I am very happy that humanitarian aid has arrived," said a man on TVV TV.

Previously, an airplane with drugs and power generators landed on Caracas airport, as announced by the Red Cross via Twitter. The cargo transported from Panama is part of an increase of almost three times the amount of humanitarian aid in Venezuela – almost $ 25 million (about 22 million euros). This was decided by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) a few days ago.

Guaidó criticizes Maduro

"Today is a successful day for all Venezuelans and a great defeat for the usurper," said transition president Juan Guaidó to head of state Nicolás Maduro. "Humanitarian aid has arrived because we have all fought as a united people and now we must ensure that it reaches those who need it most and are not abused for blackmail".

Guaidó and Maduro are fighting a bitter struggle for power since January. Although many states have recognized Guaidó as a legitimate transitional president, he has not yet been able to damage Maduro in Venezuela. Above all, the powerful military continue to be loyal to the socialist head of state. Guaidó requires democratic elections.

Independence and neutrality

"We ask everyone to avoid the politicization of this great success," said the president of the Red Cross in Venezuela, Mario Villarroel. The planned extradition to 28 Venezuelan hospitals will be based on the principles of independence and neutrality.

The ICRC has recently signed an agreement with the Venezuelan Ministry of Health to provide emergency assistance for people.


Many people are starving

Venezuela is experiencing a serious political and economic crisis that has brought the health system, food supplies and electricity to the brink of collapse. President Maduro declared free days for the entire Easter week to repair damaged power grids.

From the beginning of March, people in Venezuela suffered widespread power outages. Due to the lack of foreign currency, the once rich country can barely get food, medicine and basic necessities. Many people die of hunger and children die in hospitals.

According to the United Nations, almost a quarter of the 30 million Venezuelans need urgent help. According to a UN report, 3.7 million people are malnourished and at least 22% of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. President Maduro had long denied that the situation in his country could be described as a humanitarian crisis. The population of the oil-rich country has suffered for years from the consequences of poor management.

Over three million Venezuelans have already left their homeland. The leader of the opposition, Guaidó, had tried in February to bring humanitarian aid from neighboring Colombia to Venezuela. However, security forces stopped the trucks at Maduro's command at the border.

Deutschlandfunk reported on this subject on April 16, 2019 at 6:00 pm.

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