A few days after the end of the political tension caused by the succession of the 47th president of the United States, the current Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, made a New Year’s resolution to make Americans known “The whole story” on foreign policy, exposing the set of missions and the great victories they achieved during the four years of President Donald Trump’s administration. One of those missions was to support the democratic struggle in Venezuela, showing himself as the main ally of the interim government led by the young opponent Juan Guaidó.
To alleviate the dramatic humanitarian situation facing the oil nation, the State Department reported that from 2017 to 2020 has delivered more than 1,200 million dollars (about 990 million euros) in aid for “vulnerable Venezuelans” due to the crisis caused by the Nicolás Maduro regime. The State Department announcement made through his Twitter account immediately turned on social networks that were filled with comments questioning where the money is. Could you publish a list in which accounts you deposited that aid? As originators of this aid, ask for an audit of how and where that money was used. I can assure you as a Venezuelan that not a penny has arrived here to help the citizen, “wrote Raúl, a Twitter user. This comment was repeated by dozens in the same publication.
In response, the Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Anti-Blockade Policies, William Castillo, directly accused the opposition of getting rich with this money. Castillo pointed out the main opposition leaders: Juan Guaidó, Leopoldo López, Carlos Vecchio, Julio Borges, and other leaders of being the main beneficiaries of “the humanitarian aid of the gringos.” Several weeks ago, Maduro himself suggested that the US Congress investigate the fate of “taxpayers’ money” because “the billions of dollars that have been awarded to these criminals now rest in bank accounts in tax havens.” “If a serious investigation were developed, they would find great surprises of robbery, scams and lies,” said the president.
However, the interim government of Juan Guaidó (who has only been in office for two years) denies these accusations by Chavismo and assures that the funds come from the US Agency for International Development, also known by its acronym in English. as Usaid. On December 16, the North American agency published a balance on the regional crisis due to the situation in Venezuela where it details the financing for humanitarian assistance for more than 7.2 million Venezuelans through NGOs and UN partner organizations that allow continue to provide assistance to populations in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In the report they state that 1.4 billion are needed to provide assistance to 3.3 million Venezuelans affected in 2021.
The Embassy of Juan Guaidó in Washington assured ABC that “the interim government has not directly administered or managed resources provided for assistance to Venezuela.” And he added that “these funds are destined and channeled directly by the US to implementers selected by them who work with humanitarian assistance and to governments in the region to create support mechanisms for Venezuelan migrants.”
Sources familiar with the operation indicate to this newspaper that the USAID assigns the funds directly to its implementer and it is they who transfer the money to the NGOs. That implementer that selects the same Usaid keeps approximately 30% of the contribution as payment of its fees. In other words, out of every 100 million dollars contributed and implemented, 30 million are retained by the implementers, leaving 2/3 of each advertisement that the North American agency says to execute.
“The amounts sound exorbitant, but along the way that money is recirculated by the US in its agencies and implementers”, confides the same source.
Miguel Pizarro, special commissioner of the interim government for humanitarian aid, insisted to this newspaper that “we do not execute cooperation budgets of this type” and that they are managed by the UN Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and the regional platform for refugees and migrants from Venezuela of UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Regarding the accusations of Chavismo regarding financing, the also opposition deputy in exile said that “the only ones becoming millionaires at the expense of the emergence of millions of Venezuelans are those who destroyed the country from power.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism