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Venezuelan Congress Declares Humanitarian Crisis, Demands President Maduro Allow Foreign Aid

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Mar 15, 2017, 3:23 pm
Venezuelan Congress Declares Humanitarian Crisis
Congress demanded President Nicolas Maduro’s administration allow diplomatic delegations from other countries and organizations such as Caritas Venezuela to help bring in food to address the crisis. (Buhola)

EspañolVenezuela’s Opposition has declared a humanitarian crisis in the country following the death of 27 people so far this year caused by malnutrition.

The opposition majority National Assembly in Venezuela said during the parliamentary session held on Tuesday March 14 that the country is officially experiencing a famine, and announced the creation of a special commission to control public resources for food.

Congressman Carlos Paparoni, in charge of opening the debate, said there are three million Venezuelans looking for food in the trash, while 80 percent are left hungry at some point in the day, and often must skip meals.

Congress demanded President Nicolas Maduro‘s administration allow diplomatic delegations from other countries and organizations such as Caritas Venezuela to help bring in food to address the crisis.

 

Vice President Tareck El Aissami and Samark Jose Lopez Bello, a Venezuelan businessman, were indicted by the US Treasury for alleged drug trafficking and money laundering.

The Assembly also requested that Freddy Bernal, head of the country’s national food distribution program and Minister of Agricultural Production Wilmar Castro Soteldo appear before congress beside “all those involved” in the hunger crisis.

Venezuela has the highest inflation in the world and the lowest wages in the region, meaning even mid-wage workers have been put into a devastating situation. Food shortages and falling purchasing power have caused over 70% percent of the population to lose weight.

Sources: El Estímulo; La Patilla

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.

Bolivia Defends Coca Law, Takes Swipe at Neighbor Colombia for US Funding

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Mar 15, 2017, 3:17 pm
Bolivia has recently passed legislation to increase coca cultivation (

Español The Bolivian government has made a public point of announcing that it does not depend on either Europe or the United States to finance its fight against drug trafficking. Bolivian Vice President Álvaro García Linera said Bolivia did not beg for economic support and asked Europe and the United States to work to reduce the demand for cocaine. Read More: US Claims Bolivia and Venezuela Allow Drug Trafficking to Flourish Read More: Despite UN Ban, Bolivia Will Export Coca-Based Products to Ecuador "We fight against drug trafficking with Bolivian money, we do not depend on the European Union (EU) to fight against drug trafficking. Before when we depended on the United States, Bolivia received about USD $100 million. We have set aside that aid," he said. García Linera reacted after the EU's comments on the Bolivian decision to raise the legal limit on coca leaf crops from 12,000 to 22,000 hectares. The EU expressed concern about the rules and suggested that its aid to Bolivia should be "refocused." Garcia Linera emphasized that before the world Bolivia has "moral authority" because it produces less coca than Peru and Colombia and is not "begging money for the fight against drug trafficking." googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); "In Colombia they grow 90,000 hectares, receive a Nobel Prize and the United States gives them USD $300 million to fight against drug trafficking," he said. Garcia Linera referred to the fact that the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Internally, the controversy over the new coca law has also grown because the opposition believes that more coca cultivation in Bolivia can only mean increased drug trafficking. It is noteworthy that on March 2, a US report on drug trafficking revealed that the regimes of Evo Morales and Nicolás Maduro have failed in that respect. The report, drawn from 2016 figures, is based on recommendations issued by former US President Barack Obama last September when he designated Bolivia, Venezuela and Burma as responsible for a failed policy in the fight against drugs in the previous 12 months. According to the Obama administration, neither Venezuela nor Bolivia met their commitments against trafficking and drug production in the last year. Venezuela was first included in that list in 2007, and Bolivia in 2008. Source: La Razon

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