Conditions for the Venezuelan people continue to be abysmal under the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro. Speaking to media in Brussels, U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams said, Venezuela, from a humanitarian point of view, is “terrible:”
“We know there are now about four-and-a-half million refugees who are really all over the hemisphere, but particularly in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador.”
Living conditions inside Venezuela have deteriorated to such a point that maternal mortality has risen by 65 percent, 94 percent of households are living in poverty, and 90 percent of hospitals are reporting shortages of medicine. In an effort to assist those countries welcoming Venezuelan refugees, the United States recently announced an additional $120 million in humanitarian assistance, which will be dispersed through the UNHCR, non-governmental organizations, and charities such as the Catholic Church. This brings the U.S. contribution to the Venezuelan regional crisis to more than $376 million since fiscal year 2017.
Mr. Abrams noted that Venezuelans are also subjected to serious human rights abuses. Indeed, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet recently delivered a second report to the UN detailing ongoing abuses in Venezuela. Included are reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings.
The former Maduro regime is involved in additional malign behavior, which includes harboring narco-terrorist groups from Colombia like the ELN (or the National Liberation Army) and the FARC (or the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).
The United States has asked the European Union to join in keeping pressure on the illegitimate Maduro regime, said Mr. Abrams:
“We need additional pressure on the regime to make sure that these negotiations, which Norway has been hosting and which are suspended at the moment, may someday bear fruit, because we all again share this same [goal]: this regime must come to an end for democracy and prosperity to be returned to the people of Venezuela.”
The U.S., along with 55 other countries, recognizes opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate interim President.The United States, said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “stands with interim President Juan Guaido, the National Assembly, and the people of Venezuela as they seek to regain their democracy.