This Tuesday, December 29, the Puebla Group, formed by former progressive head of states and political leaders from Latin America, issued a declaration in support of the right of the Venezuelan people to have access to COVID-19 vaccines, heavily affected by illegal sanctions from the United States and the European Union.
The Venezuelan minister for health, Carlos Alvarado, expressed recently that Venezuela was experiencing problems paying its COVAX UN dues needed to access vaccines and initiate mass vaccination, as a consequence of criminal US sanctions.
A few months ago President Nicolás Maduro announced that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were beyond the reach of Venezuela due to the US blockade, and that Venezuela was planning to initiate mass vaccination in April 2021 with the Russian Sputnik V, Chinese Sinovac, and Cuban Soberana I vaccines.
Below is the text of the declaration signed by Dilma Rousseff, Rafael Correa, Lula Da Silva, Ernesto Samper, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Fernando Lugo, Andres Arauz, Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, among others.
For those of us who signed this plea, the right to universal access to the COVID-19 vaccine is of utmost importance. It is a matter of dignity, human rights, and justice.
History will judge us for this moment. Not favoring by all possible means that the vaccine reaches all the citizens of the world as soon as possible and in particular all Venezuelans, given the special circumstances that the country is going through, is something more than inadmissible, it would be cruel and inhumane. There is neither excuse nor justification, nor opinion or political situation that can explain a refusal or delay.
It will never be possible to explain to Venezuelans any attitude that does not contribute to their right to life, which is the vaccine against COVID 19.
Faced with the essential right to health, there is no politics, ideology, or strategy that can be placed before an act of vital justice.
We make a call and demand that the U.S. government, the EU and European governments, which retain billions of dollars of assets from the people of Venezuela, release those resources necessary to finance the vaccine for all Venezuelans, regardless of where they reside and have legal status, which would be coordinated and supervised by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The decision not to vaccinate Venezuelan migrants in Colombia is a cruel attack on basic humanitarian principles and human rights.
This manifesto, this moral plea, is open to the support of all citizens of Venezuela, Latin America and any other region on the planet. Our convictions make our determination to prevent international politics and the relations between peoples and countries from falling off the precipice of insensitivity, contempt or hatred, absolute.
We will reach out to all the governments concerned, to achieve this just and humanitarian demand.
We reiterate the call to the World Health Organization so that no people are left out of access to the vaccine for financial reasons.
We ask for your support. Subscribe, from ethics and solidarity, to this just manifesto.
1. Dilma Rousseff, former President of the Republic. Brazil.
2. Rafael Correa, former President of the Republic, Ecuador.
3. Lula da Silva, former President of the Republic. Brazil.
4. Ernesto Samper, former President of the Republic, Colombia.
5. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former President of the Government of Spain.
6. Fernando Lugo, former President of the Republic. Paraguay.
7. Andrés Arauz, presidential candidate. Ecuador
8. Mónica Xavier, former Senator. Uruguay
9. Esperanza Martínez, Senator. Paraguay
10. Gabriela Rivadeneira, National Assembly, Ecuador.
11. Carlos Sotelo, former Senator, Mexico.
12. Iván Cepeda, Senator. Colombia
13. Jorge Taiana, Senator and former Chancellor. Argentina
14. Daniel Martínez, former Mayor. Uruguay
15. Karol Cariola, Deputy. Chile.
16. Clara López, former Minister. Colombia
17. Celso Amorim, former Chancellor. Brazil
18. Carol Proner, Lawyer. Brazil.
19. Guillaume Long, former Chancellor. Ecuador.
20. Cuauhtémoc Cardenas, former presidential candidate. Mexico
21. Carlos Ominami, former Senator and former Minister. Chile.
22. Ana Isabel Prera, former Ambassador. Guatemala.
23. Ricardo Patiño, former Chancellor and former Minister. Ecuador.
24. Fernando Haddad, former Minister and former Presidential Candidate. Brazil.
25. Alejandro Navarro, Senator. Chile.
26. Beatriz Paredes, Senator. Mexico.
27. Maximiliano Reyes, Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico.
28. Aida García Naranjo, former Ambassador. Peru.
29. Marco Enríquez-Ominami, former Presidential Candidate. Chile.
30. Camilo Lagos, President of the Progressive Party. Chile.
31. José Miguel Insulza, Senator, Chile.
32. Aloizio Mercadante, former Minister. Brazil.
Featured image: File photo.