The US will not donate coronavirus vaccines to Venezuela due to the Maduro administration’s “lack of transparency,” Washington’s top diplomat to the country said Thursday.
The statement by US Ambassador to Venezuela James Story came after President Joe Biden announced that his administration will donate 80 million vaccine doses to nations in need to “lead the world to end the pandemic.”
“We share these doses not to secure favors or obtain concessions” but “to save lives and lead the world to end the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values,” Biden said in a statement.
In Latin America, the vaccines will be distributed through the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, a mechanism created to provide vaccines to developing nations.
Story noted that the US’s decision to exclude Venezuela from the list is not permanent and that the country could be included in future donations.
“It is only in this first round that Venezuela does not enter this list because it lacks transparency in the delivery of vaccines for people in need,” he said.
Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza responded by declaring that Washington’s actions “demonstrate their continued hatred towards the Venezuelan people.”
“The inhumane restrictions of their illegal sanctions in the midst of a pandemic and stealing the funds and assets of Venezuela are not enough for them. With these types of opinions, they only demonstrate their continued hatred towards the Venezuelan people. Too much misery of spirit,” Arreaza said.