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USA accused of weaponizing COVID-19 against Venezuela

USA accused of weaponizing COVID-19 against Venezuela
Sacha Llorentti

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Sacha Llorentti, Secretary General of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) has accused the United States of America (USA) of using the pandemic as a sort of weapon against Venezuela.

He said COVID-19 is also being used as a weapon against other ALBA member states like Cuba and Nicaragua but despite this, these countries are managing the pandemic well.

Llorentti was in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) last week where he toured the red zone with Minister of Agriculture Saboto Caesar, to assess the damage and see how ALBA-TCP can assist with the recovery efforts.

Llorentti commented on Monday last week that three countries, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are under “huge and illegal pressure from the United States”, with embargoes, blockades and unilateral coercive methods and these measures are illegal and against international law and against the United Nations (UN) charter.

“The blockade for example, the possibility for Venezuela to sell oil is problematic, so the revenues went down a lot and not just that, the United States has weaponized the pandemic against the Venezuelan people because we are not able to buy medicine, vaccines and other products in order to face the pandemic as any other country,” Llorentti charged.

He said there are a lot of restrictions placed on Venezuela by the US.

“I would like to stress this once again, these restrictions are illegal, so even the Secretary General of the United Nations has made a call for the United States to lift the sanctions because of the pandemic.

Back in March, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner of Human rights, called for the easing of sanctions against countries to help them fight COVID-19 and limit global spread.

 “As I said, they weaponized the pandemic and they are using it against the people, against Venezuela and Cuba, but even under those circumstances, the alliance is showing solidarity and countries like Venezuela and Cuba are among the best in dealing with the pandemic so far,” Llorentti stated.

Venezuela up to press time, had recorded 202,578 cases of COVID-19 with 2226 deaths; while Cuba had over 112,000 cases with over 694 deaths. Nicaragua had 6989 cases with 183 deaths.

The ten member countries of ALBA are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Nicaragua, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Venezuela.

Since 2017, the U.S. has sanctioned people, businesses, and oil entities associated with president Nicolas Maduro, both inside and outside of Venezuela.

Last Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed that Washington would work with partners to maintain pressure on the government of Venezuelan.–áA

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