Monday, March 22, Brazilian federal deputy Paulo Pimenta (PT-RS) denounced the declaration of the government of Jair Bolsonaro —communicated, inexplicably, through the Federal Police—that Venezuelan diplomats working in Brazil must leave the country by April 2. Pimenta labeled the decision as lacking respect for Brazilians, especially those from the states of Amazonas and Amapá, who have received help from Venezuela to care for COVID-19 patients.
The congressman announced that he will submit an addendum to a petition for habeas corpus that he presented last year in the Federal Supreme Court of Justice, which guaranteed the permanence of Venezuelan diplomats in the South American giant.
On May 2, 2020, Minister Luis Roberto Barroso, of Brazil’s Federal Supreme Court (STF), granted a court order that suspended the expulsion of 34 Venezuelan diplomats by the Brazilian government. It accepted the petition for habeas corpus filed by Paulo Pimenta and decided that the precautionary measure would be valid for the duration of the state of public calamity and health emergency in Brazil.
“If at that time the minister understood that Venezuelan diplomats could not leave Brazil due to the pandemic, today the situation is much more serious and delicate,” said the parliamentarian. “Right now, in an alarming situation here and there, nothing justifies this criminal stance by the Brazilian government towards Venezuelan diplomats.”
Pimenta recalled that since January, Venezuela, with the participation of the country’s diplomatic corps in Brazil, has made possible—alongside governors, deputies and senators of the two Amazonian states—the “conditions for the supply of oxygen to [Brazilian] hospitals.”
He pointed out that Amazonas and Amapá have received oxygen sent by the Venezuelan government, since the incompetence of the Bolsonaro government caused the death of dozens of people by suffocation due to lack of the product in the Brazilian hospital network.
The deputy reported that the diplomats live in Brasilia, Amapá and Amazonas; some have a consular function and play a strategic role for bilateral cooperation in the healthcare sector.
“They are being expelled arbitrarily, unnecessarily and unjustifiably,” said Pimenta. “It is almost unbelievable that the people who are helping us right now, including expanding logistical support for the two states, are experiencing such persecution.”
The parliamentarian recalled that both Brazil and Venezuela are going through a serious time due to the pandemic, which further reinforces the need for Venezuelan diplomats not to be removed from Brazil.
Ratificamos la disposición de #Venezuela de cooperar y ayudar al hermano pueblo vecino de #Brasil a enfrentar la crisis sanitaria y humanitaria generada por el #Covid_19. Nuestros equipos consulares de Belém do Pará y Boavista esperan por las coordinaciones logísticas necesarias. https://t.co/XB9IOoVNR3
— Jorge Arreaza M (@jaarreaza) March 22, 2021
Venezuela will continue to send oxygen
Faced with the healthcare crisis that Brazil is experiencing due to the absence of government measures to contain COVID-19, the Foreign Minister of the Republic Jorge Arreaza, this Monday, March 22, expressed the commitment and willingness of Venezuela to cooperate with the neighboring country.
“We ratify Venezuela’s willingness to help the brother people of Brazil to face the health and humanitarian crisis generated by COVID-19,” the top diplomat posted on his Twitter account.
This message from the Venezuelan Foreign Minister followed the request made by the opposition leader of the Brazilian Senate, Randolfe Rodrigues, who indicated that he held talks with the Venezuelan ambassador, Alberto Castellar, and asked for the support of the Venezuelan government to assist healthcare centers with oxygen.
“I just spoke with the Venezuelan ambassador Alberto Castellar, who assured us of the support of the Venezuelan government for Macapá and Amapá on the issue of oxygen. We will mobilize the logistics to deliver the assistance we are receiving,” said Rodrigues.
The Arns Commission and Conectas Human Rights filed a complaint with the UN against President Jair Bolsonaro for his irresponsible handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, that has claimed the lives of 300,000 Brazilians. In Venezuela the number of deaths has not exceeded 1,600.
Featured image: Venezuela keeps sending humanitarian oxygen shipments to Brazil while Bolsonaro pushes for the expulsion of the Venezuelan diplomats making it happen.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune