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Aid To Venezuela Continues To Be Blocked; Media Outlets Provide Coverage Of Different Angles Of Crisis In Country

IRIN: Briefing: International politics and humanitarian aid collide in Venezuela
“… Last week, 50 metric tonnes of aid provided by the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, was delivered in a convoy of trucks with the help of the Colombian government to Cúcuta. Colombian and U.S. officials say it includes basic food items such as flour, rice, lentils, and cooking oil, as well as personal hygiene items. The United States has pledged $20 million in assistance to Venezuela. … The Venezuelan military continues to block the Tienditas international bridge between Cúcuta and the neighbouring Venezuelan town of Tachira, preventing the USAID supplies from being delivered. President Maduro denies that Venezuela faces a humanitarian crisis, and maintains that economic difficulties are a result of sanctions imposed by Washington…” (Dupraz-Dobias, 2/12).

PRI: Stalled humanitarian aid to Venezuela ‘is a trap,’ says ex-Maduro staffer
“…Venezuela’s government on Friday said the United States should distribute humanitarian aid in Colombia where it is being stockpiled, while the opposition warned that blocking much-needed food and medicine could constitute crimes against humanity. Rival Juan Guaidó, who is recognized by dozens of countries as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, warned military officers against blocking the arrival of aid amid spiraling disease and malnutrition brought on by a hyperinflationary collapse…” (2/12).

SciDev.Net: Venezuela goes back 20 years in child mortality
“The progress made by Venezuela in reducing child mortality rates has been lost over the past decade, leaving the country facing rates at a level not seen since the late 1990s. Child mortality had been steadily declining since the 1940s. According to official data reported in an article published in The Lancet, in 2009 there was an average of 16 deaths of children under one year of age for every 1000 live births. But since then, ‘the rate began to increase with a rapid growth from 2011,’ write the authors. Venezuela’s economy and health system have collapsed in recent years, and the country is currently in the midst of a political crisis…” (Núñez, 2/12).

VOA News: Venezuela’s Guaidó Says Humanitarian Aid to Enter Country Feb. 23
“Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó says humanitarian aid would be brought into the country on February 23, even though President Nicolas Maduro has refused to let it in. Guaidó, recognized by the U.S. and some 50 other countries as the interim president of Venezuela, spoke Tuesday to thousands of supporters who demonstrated as part of an ongoing campaign to break the military’s support for Maduro and force the socialist leader from power. Guaidó has been pressing for emergency food and medicine from the U.S. to be transported into the economically-devastated country…” (2/12).

Additional coverage of the crises in Venezuela is available from Bloomberg and The Times of India.