Guaido: Maduro refuses to entry US-held funds to purchase vaccines | Coronavirus pandemic Information

‘The [problem] is not the money, this is the dictatorship’s propaganda, to apologize, to point the fingers and to confuse the whole world, “said Juan Guaido on Wednesday at a press conference.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said Wednesday that Venezuelan funds controlled by the U.S. Treasury Department could be used to pay for coronavirus vaccines, but President Nicolas Maduro’s government has refused to cooperate.

The government has not accepted an implementation plan drawn up by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that would allow Venezuela to join the COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility) program and has no prior agreement on the distribution of COVID-19 tests .

“The [problem] it is not the money, it is the dictatorship’s propaganda to apologize, point the fingers and confuse the whole world, ”Guaido said at a press conference.

“If we are ready and the regime is not, the funds cannot be transferred.”

The Venezuelan Information Department and the US Treasury Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ciro Ugarte, director of health emergencies at PAHO, said at another press conference on Wednesday that Maduro had “expressed an interest in gaining access to vaccines through the COVAX mechanism as well as from other sources, and the Guaido group has expressed that intention brought “.

The US recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela in 2019 and created a package of sanctions against the Maduro government that included the confiscation of nearly $ 350 million in US accounts.

Portions of those funds were used last year to get test kits and personal protective equipment for medical workers after Venezuelan officials and opposition leaders reached an agreement, Guaido said.

Venezuela will have to pay more than $ 100 million to gain access to vaccines through the global COVAX program, which gives poorer countries access to shots, according to estimates by diplomats familiar with the situation.

Maduro’s allies in recent weeks said Venezuela could not pay due to sanctions.

PAHO said last month that Venezuela used only one percent of the coronavirus tests received, and Venezuela’s opposition said Maduro failed to honor agreements to distribute equipment and tests.

Maduro has announced that the South American country will receive 10 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from ally Russia.

A PAHO official said Tuesday that between 1.4 and 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were reserved for Venezuela and could arrive by the end of February, but Caracas would have to pay them by February 9.

PAHO had previously said that Venezuela could not participate in the COVAX facility due to a lack of timely government payments.

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