Venezuela's offshore funds could pay for vaccines but Maduro not cooperating, Guaido says

By Brian Ellsworth CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Wednesday that Venezuelan funds controlled by the U.S. Treasury Department could be used to pay for coronavirus vaccines but that President Nicolas Maduro's government is refusing to cooperate. The government has not accepted an implementation plan laid out by the Pan American Health Organization that would enable Venezuela to join the COVAX program, and has failed to fulfill a prior agreement regarding distribution of COVID-19 tests.

Reuters February 04, 2021 00:13:41 IST
Venezuela's offshore funds could pay for vaccines but Maduro not cooperating, Guaido says

Venezuelas offshore funds could pay for vaccines but Maduro not cooperating Guaido says

By Brian Ellsworth

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Wednesday that Venezuelan funds controlled by the U.S. Treasury Department could be used to pay for coronavirus vaccines but that President Nicolas Maduro's government is refusing to cooperate.

The government has not accepted an implementation plan laid out by the Pan American Health Organization that would enable Venezuela to join the COVAX program, and has failed to fulfill a prior agreement regarding distribution of COVID-19 tests.

"The (problem) is not the funds, that's the dictatorship's propaganda to try to excuse itself and point fingers and confuse the whole world," Guaido said in a press conference.

"If we are willing, and the regime is not, the funds cannot be transferred."

Venezuela's information ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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

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

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

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Caracas; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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