The Human Rights expert of the United Nations (UN), Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, warns that the response of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to deny Venezuela the financing requested by the Venezuelan government on March 15 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic can make it difficult to acquire medications to deal with the virus.
“The IMF’s argument about the lack of clarity regarding the international recognition of the Venezuelan government cannot be the basis of a decision that seriously endangers the entire Venezuelan population and, to a large extent, the entire world. These decisions may constitute a serious violation of Human Rights and would require the accountability of the institution and those responsible for its decisions,” indicates a document published in turn by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza.
He believes that refusing Venezuela’s request, in the order of $ 5 billion, to strengthen capacities in its health system, constitutes a serious violation of human rights, for which the body must be held accountable for its decisions.
In the document, the expert demands suspension of the economic and financial sanctions of the United States (US) government against all countries in order to combat Covid-19, since they hinder the obligation of each State to respect, protect and fulfill human rights and global efforts against the virus.
“In this sense, a temporary uprising must be urgently considered as a way of guaranteeing both humanitarian aid and preventing a further spread of the pandemic as well as fighting it,” the letter states. Therefore, Bohoslavsky highlights that by lifting the sanctions, each health system is allowed to survive, since they would obtain essential supplies to serve their population.
Last Monday, April 13, the IMF reported that it will release some 25 countries from the payment of interest for 500 million dollars after the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The beneficiary countries belong mostly to Africa, such as: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Santo Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The list is completed by Afghanistan, Haiti, Nepal, the Solomon Islands, Tajikistan and Yemen.
Featured image: Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, UN Independent Expert on External Debt and Human Rights. Photo: EFE / Alejandro Bolívar
Translated by JRE/EF