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US Embassy: US offers $20 million to offset ‘Maduro-made humanitarian crisis’ in Venezuela

“The United States is staging emergency humanitarian assistance in the region in response to Interim President Guiado’s request for aid…

“These efforts follow Secretary Pompeo’s January 24, announcement that the United States is ready to provide more than $20 million in initial humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela, as they struggle to cope with severe food and medicine shortages and other dire impacts of their country’s political, and Maduro-made economic and humanitarian crisis.”

The following is a statement issued by the US Embassy on the country’s position on a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Venezuela:

Photo: A Venezuelan protester drapes herself in a message that reads “There is no food.”
(Copyright CNN)

Recognising the regional Humanitarian Crisis: Former President Nicolás Maduro’s systematic economic mismanagement, corruption, and violent oppression have caused severe shortages of food and medicine and needless human suffering, resulting in an exodus of millions of Venezuelans to neighbouring countries.

The spiralling effects of this political and man-made economic crisis have dire humanitarian consequences.

In what was once the richest country in Latin America, hyperinflation is estimated to have reached 1.37 million percent in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund. Approximately one month of food for a family costs more than 100 times the monthly minimum wage. As a result, many Venezuelans cannot eat every day.

Crumbling infrastructure has disrupted water and sanitation services, and a collapsing health system has prompted outbreaks of previously eradicated diseases, such as measles, that have spread to neighbouring countries:

  • Nearly 90 percent of Venezuelan hospitals surveyed reported medicine shortages, and nearly 70 percent reported regular power and water outages.
  • A majority of the nearly 17,000 measles cases recorded throughout the region have been traced to outbreaks in Venezuela, because of the breakdown of basic childhood vaccination systems—one of the most basic health services a government can provide.
  • In 2017, the Maduro regime fired its health minister, not because of the health catastrophe underway, but because the Minister publicly released an update on health statistics. Since then, the regime has stopped publishing health statistics to hide the scale of its mismanagement.
Photo: Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro.
(Courtesy CNN)

According to United Nations estimates, more than three million Venezuelans have left their country, a number that is projected to rise to more than five million by the end of 2019:

  • This outflow of vulnerable Venezuelans is straining healthcare, education and other social services in neighbouring countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

The United States is staging emergency humanitarian assistance in the region in response to Interim President Guiado’s request for aid. The United States is mobilising life-saving humanitarian aid for the people of Venezuela:

  • The US government is procuring and pre-positioning assistance requested by President Guaidó’s team, and calls on the Venezuelan security forces to allow these urgently needed supplies to enter the country.
  • These efforts follow Secretary Pompeo’s January 24, announcement that the United States is ready to provide more than $20 million in initial humanitarian assistance to the people of Venezuela, as they struggle to cope with severe food and medicine shortages and other dire impacts of their country’s political, and Maduro-made economic and humanitarian crisis.
  • This assistance will provide urgently needed medical supplies and will be aimed at reaching the most vulnerable populations in Venezuela.

Standing with our Hemispheric neighbours: The United States is supporting our Hemispheric partners in addressing the needs of Venezuelans who have fled to the region.

Photo: (From left) Venezuela president Nicolás Maduro, Russia president Vladimir Putin and US president Donald Trump.
  • Since Fiscal Year 2017, the United States has provided more than $140 million, including nearly $97 million in humanitarian assistance and approximately $44 million in development assistance, to support the generous efforts of countries hosting Venezuelans who have fled the chaos in their homeland.
  • US assistance includes support for Venezuelans in 17 countries in the region, including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. In particular, the United States funds United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations to provide life-saving assistance, such as food, health care, protection, and shelter, to Venezuelans and host communities in the region.
  • The United States will continue to scale up humanitarian assistance in the region to meet evolving needs and reduce the impact of the crisis on Venezuelans and host countries.

US assistance includes support for Venezuelans in 17 countries in the region, including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.

In particular, the United States funds United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations to provide life-saving assistance, such as food, health care, protection, and shelter, to Venezuelans and host communities in the region.

In Trinidad and Tobago, the US State Department teamed up with the UN and local organisations in December 2018 to distribute household goods such as bedding, mosquito nets, diapers, soap and baby-care items to Venezuelans fleeing the corrupt regime of Nicolás Maduro.

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24 comments

  1. From what i saw on some media the Venezuelans who live in surrounding towns are walking or mopeding across to get aid so hopefully it will get to those in need

  2. the colombians blocked the bridge first and it was never used since being built in 2016

  3. A Corey Gilkes here is the piece you shared on US-led regime change in Canada:
    Robert Kennedy said: “My brother really hated only two men in all his presidency. One was Sukarno [President of Indonesia] and the other was Diefenbaker.”

    On February 4, Chrystia Freeland used the “Diefenbaker Building” in Ottawa to host a meeting of the Lima Group to help plot the US-led coup against Venezuela.

    On February 5, 1963, a US-led Regime Change “Knocked Over” Canada’s government because it refused to put US nuclear warheads in Canada.

    This US/NATO-led Cold-War coup that ousted Prime Minister John Diefenbaker came to a head on February 5, 1963. Dief had refused to allow any US nuclear warheads to be based in Canada. But Lester Pearson was willing to have the nuclear weapons in Canada. He was a willing puppet of US interests. So, powerful US and Canadian forces worked together to “knock over” Canada’s elected government and empower one that would follow the Cold War role that the US wanted Canada to play.

    In 1962-1963 the CIA, US State Department, the US ambassador in Ottawa, a US general who led NATO, leaders of Cda’s military and our corporate media worked together on a constitutional coup d’etat that got rid of duly-elected Prime Minister Diefenbaker. They ran a huge campaign that turned the public and some of Dief’s own MPS against him, including Dief’s Defence Minister, Doug Harkness, who resigned on February 4, 1963. This led to a non-confidence vote in the House of Commons on February 5, and Diefenbaker’s government “fell.”

    But as a top US government official who helped orchestrate the coup later described it, Dief didn’t just “fall,” he was “knocked over.” The US govt was the main force in pushing this regime change that toppled Canada’s elected government.

    With major US government support (including president Kennedy’s provision of his top computer expert on running elections), Dief was soon replaced by Lester B. Pearson who immediately allowed US nuclear warheads to be placed on Bomark missiles in Quebec and BC. The myth of Pearson being pro-peace is ludicrous for many reasons. His placement of US nuclear warheads in Canada and his involvement in the plot to “knock over” Diefenbaker is but one of many reasons to finally chuck out the naive mythology that Pearson=Peace.

    After the US-led coup against Dief, McGeorge Bundy* wrote to Lyndon Johnson, saying “I myself have been sensitive to the need for being extra polite to Canadians ever since George Ball** and I knocked over the Diefenbaker government by one incautious press release.”

    * McGeorge Bundy was National Security Advisor to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 through 1966. He was president of the Ford Foundation from 1966 through 1979.

    ** George Ball was a banker and the US Under Secretary of State from 1961 to 1966. He was US Ambassador to the UN in 1968.

    The “incautious press release” that Bundy mentions was of course only one part of the strike against Dief, but it was a big one. It was a media statement by the leader of NATO, a US General named Norstad who came to Canada and held a press conference specifically to denounce Diefenbaker’s position against allowing the placement of armed US nuclear weapons in Canada. That press conference undermined confidence in the Dief government and was very widely reported by the corporate. This was a blatant case of meddling by US and NATO in our internal political process.

    REGIME CHANGE IN CANADA BY THE U.S.
    1962-1963, Canada: ‘Knocking Over’ “Dief the Chief”

    A Plot “Made in the U.S.”
    By Richard Sanders, coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade.

    Prime Minister John Diefenbaker

    In 1962, the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, Livingston Merchant, and his Second Secretary Charles Kisselyak, fuelled a plot among the Canadian Air Forces, Canadian journalists and others to dispose of Prime Minister Diefenbaker.

    Kennedy hated Dief largely for his anti-nuclear stance. Merchant and other U.S. embassy officers with espionage backgrounds, met at Kisselyak’s home in Ottawa to feed journalists with spaghetti, beer and anti-Diefenbaker/pronuclear propaganda. Among the many participants in these off-the-record briefings was Charles Lynch of Southam News. Diefenbaker later denounced these reporters as “traitors” and “foreign agents.” He lashed out against Lynch on a TV program saying, “You were given briefings as to how the Canadian government could be attacked on the subject of nuclear weapons and the failure of the Canadian government to do that which the U.S. dictated.”

    Merchant and Kisselyak worked with RCAF Wing Commander Bill Lee and NORAD’s number two man, Canadian Air Marshall Roy Slemon. Air Marshall Hugh Campbell and the chair of Canada’s chiefs of staff, Air Marshall Frank Miller also approved Lee’s campaign. Diefenbaker’s avidly pronuclear Defence Minister, Douglas Harkness, also knew of Lee’s effort.

    As head of RCAF public relations, Lee went to Washington twice a month to confer with U.S. authorities. “It was a flat-out campaign,” he later said. “We identified key journalists, business and labour, key Tory hitters, and…Liberals…. We wanted people with influence on members of cabinet. In the end the pressure paid off.”

    In 1962, new U.S. ambassador, William Butterworth, continued the “flat-out campaign” by holding discrete meetings at the U.S. embassy to exert influence on Canadian journalists.

    Lester Pearson was the President’s choice. Kennedy gave the go-ahead to his friend and America’s leading pollster, Lou Harris, to become the Liberal’s secret campaign advisor in the 1962 election. Diefenbaker survived with a minority government.

    The plot to bring down Canada’s government came to a head in January, 1963. On Jan.3, top U.S. Air Force General Lauris Norstad held an Ottawa press conference. Prompted by questions from Lynch, and other reporters briefed by U.S. intelligence, Norstad criticized Canada’s antinuclear stance. On Jan. 12, Pearson announced his new policy of supporting U.S. nuclear weapons in Canada. In protest, Pierre Trudeau called Pearson the “defrocked priest of peace” and refused to run for the Liberals.

    President J.F.Kennedy (during his TV address concerning the “Cuban Missile Crisis” October 1962.)

    The coup’s final blow came when the U.S. State Department issued a press release which called Diefenbaker a liar on nuclear issues (Jan. 30). This tactic was suggested by Willis Armstrong, head of the State Department’s Canada Desk in Washington. Butterworth added his suggestions and sent his senior embassy advisor, Rufus Smith, to Washington to draft it. “With Armstrong chairing, half a dozen officials from State, the White House and the Pentagon…shaped…the rebuke.” The draft was polished by Under Secretary of State George McGhee and approved by acting Secretary of State, George Ball, and national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy.

    The Canadian media had a heyday attacking Diefenbaker. Fights broke out in Cabinet. Diefenbaker recalled Canada’s ambassador from the U.S. On Feb. 5, Defence Minister Harkness announced his resignation and Pearson called for a non-confidence vote. Dief’s minority government fell, or rather, it was ‘knocked over.’

    Kisselyak was the U.S. embassy’s contact to Pearson’s election campaign. The Liberals had the strong advantages of a friendly media and Harris’ state-of-the-art, computerized polling tactics. Diefenbaker, facing a primed hostile media, ran a stridently anti-U.S. campaign. Pearson’s victory was hailed by newspapers across North America. Within days, the new External Affairs Minister, Paul Martin Sr., was approached by Butterworth to negotiate the acceptance of U.S. nuclear weapons. The warheads were deployed in Canada on New Year’s Eve and there was partying in Washington.

    Sources: Knowlton Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker, 1990 and Floyd Rudmin “Is the Sky Falling, or What?,” Feb. 20, 1995

    • ==================================================
      Key Quotations on the events of January 1963

      President John F. Kennedy said the U.S. would take a stronger leadership role in NATO “even at the risk of offending sensitive allies.”
      (AP interview, Jan.2)

      On General Norstad’s Media conference, Jan. 3
      “[Norstad’s] purpose was to establish a basis for Pearson’s conversion to U.S. nuclear policy.”
      (Diefenbaker)

      “Kennedy sent Norstad to do this hatchet job on us. It was American imperialism of the highest order.”
      (Alvin Hamilton, Agriculture minister)

      “This was another American turn of the screw to bring down the Conservative government.”
      (Charles Ritchie, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S.)

      On Pearson decision to reverse Liberal Policy and accept U.S. nuclear warheads into Canada (if elected), Jan. 12

      “Kennedy achieved his dearest Canadian wish. Pearson progressed… to embracing the U.S. position on arming with nuclear weapons the Bomarcs and, no doubt, yielding to U.S. demands for storage of all manner of nuclear devices in Canada.”
      (Diefenbaker)

      “A pure example of Pearson’s willingness to accept the leadership of the U.S. on any vital matter.”
      (Hamilton)

      Liberal policies were “made in the U.S.”
      (Tommy Douglas, NDP Leader)

      On the U.S. press release, Jan. 30

      “It was as deliberate an attempt as ever made to bring down a foreign government.”
      (Ed Ritchie, former under secretary of state for external affairs)

      “This action by the State Department of the U.S. is unprecedented…it constitutes an unwarranted intrusion in Canadian affairs… [Canada] will not be pushed around or accept external domination or interference in making its decisions.” “President Kennedy was going to obliterate us. I dared to say to him that Canada’s policies would be made in Canada by Canadians.”
      (Diefenbaker)

      “An absolute outrage, the most blatant, heavy-handed, intolerable piece of bullying.”
      (Charles Ritchie)

      “Like a bombshell”
      (a Diefenbaker aide)

      “Brazen interference.”
      (Howard Green, External Affairs Minister)

      “The U.S. should know from this Parliament that they are not dealing with Guatemala…or Cuba.”
      (Douglas)

      “Kennedy decided the government had to go…[I] wouldn’t put it past him to say, ‘Get rid of the bastards.'”
      (R.Bell, Immigration Minister)

      “Very useful. Highly beneficial in advancing U.S. interests by introducing realism into a government which has made anti-Americanism… practically its entire stock in trade.”
      (William Butterworth, U.S. ambassador to Canada)

      “For God’s sake, it was like tossing a match into dried hay.”
      (Rufus Smith, senior advisor to Will Butterworth)

      Trudeau’s summary of the events of January 1963
      “Do you think General Norstad… came to Ottawa as a tourist?… Do you think it was by chance that Pearson… quoted the authority of Norstad? Do you think it was inadvertant that on January 30 the state department gave a statement to journalists reinforcing Pearson’s claims and crudely accusing Diefenbaker of lying? You think it was by chance that this press release provided the Leader of the Opposition with the arguments he used abundantly? You believe it was coincidence? Why [should] the U.S. treat Canada differently from Guatemala when reason of state requires it and circumstances permit?”
      (Pierre E. Trudeau)

      Source: From K.Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker: Fear and Loathing Across the Undefended Border, 1990.

      ==================================================
      John Diefenbaker’s “Made in Canada” Policies

      “Diefenbaker promoted Canadian independence with evangelical zeal… ‘We are a power, not a puppet,’ the Chief thundered during the controversy over the placement of U.S. nuclear warheads in Canada. ‘His rampant nationalism alienated the entire ruling class: Bay Street, Wall Street, his civil service and politicians from all parties. [George] Grant credited the Chief with the strongest stance against satellite status ever attempted by a Canadian. This stance came at a high price.”
      Source: Laurence Martin, Pledge of Allegiance, The Americanization of Canada in the Mulroney Years, 1993.

      Cuban Missile Crisis:

      When U.S. spy planes showed missile sites being constructed in Cuba, Kennedy decided to blockade Russian ships en route to Cuba. Despite NORAD, the Canada-U.S. Permanent Joint Board on Defense and NATO, Kennedy neither consulted nor informed the Canadian government until [two hours] before his TV speech on Oct. 22, 1962.
      The U.S. asked the Canadian government to move our military to an advanced state of readiness. Diefenbaker did not comply. Nonetheless, Canada’s military moved immediately to advanced readiness without the Prime Minister’s authorization. Canada’s chief of naval staff ordered the Atlantic fleet to sea. Canada’s Minister of Defense ordered the military’s Chiefs of Staff to special preparedness.
      General McNaughton’s 1941 remark is painfully relevant: “The acid test of sovereignty is control of the armed forces.”1 Howard Green, Canada’s anti-nuclear External Affairs minister, pleaded that cabinet reconsider “blindly following the U.S. lead, particularly since the President had not kept the commitment to consult Canada over the impending [missile] crisis.
      ‘If we go along with the U.S. now, we’ll be their vassal forever.'”2

      Footnotes:
      1. C.P. Stacey, Canada and the Age of Conflict, Vol.2, p.349.
      2. Peter Newman, Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years, p.337, p.337.

      The Avro and the Bomarcs:
      Diefenbaker cancelled the Avro Arrow fighter plane program (1959) because the U.S. wouldn’t buy any of them. Although then expected to arm Canada’s Bomarc missiles with U.S. nuclear warheads, Diefenbaker refused.

      Operation Sky Hawk:
      Dief cancelled a U.S. nuclear war-related training exercise over Canada (1959).

      Cuba:
      Diefenbaker refused U.S. demands to stop trading with Cuba, and instead increased Canada’s trade (1960).

      Apartheid:
      At a Commonwealth conference (1961), Diefenbaker was the only white leader to support the African and Asian members against allowing South African membership.

      Immigration:
      After Diefenbaker’s Bill of Rights (1960), the government reduced immigration restrictions based on racial grounds and began to accept more Asian and black immigrants.

      Women:
      Dief appointed the first women cabinet minister and senator.

      First Nations:
      Native people allowed to vote for the first time (1960).

      OAS:
      Dief resented JFK’s speech to Parliament urging Canada to join the Organization of American States, because Dief had already refused (1961).

      China:
      Diefenbaker refused U.S. requests to cut off wheat supplies to China if they continued supporting Vietnamese independence efforts (1962).

      Nuclear Test Ban:
      Kennedy pushed for opposition to the treaty, but Canada voted for it (1962). The U.S. and most NATO countries abstained.

      Sources: Knowlton Nash, Kennedy and Diefenbaker, 1990.

  4. What about the economical sanctions, instead of offering millions, US could also lift the sanctions

  5. Steups. Uncle Sam pretending to be the saviour when they dam well know is the crippling sanctions that birthed the “humanitarian crisis”.

    • Rose-Marie they should go offer North Koreans some freedom from “Rocket Man”. Dais The Donald’s boy now, so apparently all is well.

    • Lasana Liburd and I see CNN start airing those sappy stories showing hungry children and murdered dissenters. The US playbook is so transparent.

    • Rose-Marie Lemessy-Forde Girl, sigh – apparently not to some who don’t have brains (sorry for my scathing term but it’s days I am fending off a harasser who is livid at my posts – I refuse to block him so he could show himself up as the Kool Aid Drinker he is). Thick-skulled.

    • Rose-Marie I started a New Yorker podcast on Venezuela and it began: the United States has joined with 26 other countries that recognize president Guaidó…
      “JOINED?!”
      You mean the US recognized him with minutes of him sweating him in and then bullied or coerced 26 other countries to do likewise?!
      Imagine if publications like New Yorker are just falling in line. And then they love to sneer at foreign propaganda machinery.

    • Lasana Liburd to be honest looking at the CNN clip on cnc3 really opened my eyes. It’s because we’re so close to the Venezuela situation we can actually see the US propaganda machinery at work. It’s the same type of stories the US media would air on all the troubled areas. And people (myself included) would buy the narrative wholesale. Because they showing you the hungry starving children and the angry anti govt protesters. At least now in this era of non traditional media we could better sift sense from nonsense.

  6. I’m waiting on the evidence of “violent oppression” which was the basis of this type of intervention.

  7. “Maduro made humanitarian crisis.” Sounds like a US formatted catch phrase like, ” weapons of mass destruction. ” An excuse/justification to invade.

  8. Right and with them come the terrorists, guns, ammunition et al. :/

  9. Direct from the CIA’s handbook of ‘destabilization of a foreign government.’ Create a crisis, then appear to resolve it. Typical USA foreign police-y.

  10. Which was not helped by US sanctions