Ap, Sputnik, Europa Press and Afp

La Jornada newspaper
Wednesday May 27, 2020, p. 29

Brussels. The conference of donors in solidarity with refugees and migrants from Venezuela that involved 60 countries in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, organized yesterday by the European Union (EU), managed to raise 2,554 million euros (2,793 million Dollars).

Of that figure, 595 million euros will be disbursed by the countries, and the rest will come from various financial supports.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, explained that the community bloc will contribute some 144 million 200 thousand euros (158 million 600 thousand dollars) to attend aid plans to the millions of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, resources that will be destined to humanitarian aid, development cooperation and conflict prevention.

In addition to these contributions, the European Investment Bank will offer loans for 400 million euros (440 million dollars), Borrell said.

The Spanish foreign minister, Arancha González Laya, indicated that her government will have a package of 50 million euros (55 million dollars) for three years to seek a solution to the crisis in Venezuela, which includes the response to the region with particular emphasis on Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, which have been three of the main recipients of Venezuelan migrants in recent years.

We can be proud of what we have achieved, stressed González Laya, who specified that the total contribution, counting various loans, is 2,554 million euros.

The EU and Spain, with the support of the agencies of the United Nations Organization for Refugees (UNHCR) and Migrations (IOM), convened the donors conference, which was attended, in addition to 60 countries, by the Organization of States Americans and European institutions such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank.

The United States promised to contribute more than 200 million dollars, while Canada will give 27 million dollars.

Borrell said that according to estimates by the United Nations Organization more than 5 million Venezuelans fled the country due to the political situation.

About 80 percent went to Latin American countries, with Colombia, Peru and Ecuador at the head, in what is the second largest migration crisis in the world, just behind Syria.

The precarious situation in which the Venezuelan health system finds itself due to the lack of medicines and medical supplies, the failures in public services and the migration of health personnel, make analysts and opponents foresee that the pandemic will wreak havoc on the Bolivarian Republic.

We cannot renounce an international effort to support a democratic and negotiated transition, Borrell said, acknowledging that in the face of the worrying economic, political and human crisis facing Venezuela, it is necessary to insist on efforts to achieve a solution.

From Caracas, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza denounced that the EU was complicit in silence after the failed maritime invasion supported by the United States and carried out by dozens of mercearies, including two former US soldiers who were arrested.

And he added in his Twi-tter account: Now, in a coordinated communication strategy between Washington and Europe, they return with the narratives of migration and false humanitarian aid.

The vice president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, denounced that the opposition leader Juan Guaidó intends to steal the gold from his country deposited as state reserves in the United Kingdom.

They planned to do the same here as in Libya if the incursion on May 3 had been successful, denounced Rodríguez in an interview for the Venezolana de Televisión channel.

The British entity retains more than 1.2 billion dollars in gold bars deposited during the presidency of Hugo Chávez (1998-2013) that are part of the reserves of the Central Bank of Venezuela.

Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Hospital said the Maduro government’s coronavirus figures, with 10 reported deaths, are false and absurd, and a conservative estimate could put them at least 30,000. Until last Sunday the virus had caused 1,121 infected and 10 dead in the country of 30 million inhabitants, according to the official count.