Maduro accuses Trump of stealing $5 bln allotted for Venezuela’s medicine manufacturing

Mexico City: Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused the government of his US counterpart Donald Trump of stealing $5 billion from the South American country, saying these funds were allotted for the manufacturing of medicines.

“The government of US president Donald Trump stole from us $5 billion allocated for medicines and the purchase of main substances for the production of medicines in Venezuela and their deliveries to hospital networks, pharmacies and ambulance network,” Maduro said during an event devoted to the relaunch of a Venezuelan national program to develop the pharmaceutical industry.

The president said Trump was responsible for “the most criminal measure” against Venezuelan people in order to subsequently say that the US authorities were ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the South American country.

Since January, Venezuela has been facing a political crisis.On January 5, lawmaker Juan Guaido was elected the head of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, which all other government branches have been refusing to recognize since 2016.

On January 23, two days after the Venezuelan Supreme Court annulled his election, Guaido declared himself the country’s “interim president.”

Maduro, who was sworn in for his second presidential term on January 10 after winning the May election, which part of the opposition boycotted, qualified Guaido’s move as an attempt to stage a coup orchestrated by Washington.

The United States immediately recognized Guaido, after which some 50 other countries, including Colombia, followed suit. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other states have, in the meantime, voiced their support for the legitimate government of Maduro. Mexico and Uruguay have refused to recognize Guaido, declaring themselves neutral and promoting crisis settlement via dialogue. UNI

Moreover, the United States blocked Venezuela’s oil assets worth $7 billion.

Washington also sought to bring what it called humanitarian aid to Venezuela with Guaido’s help.

However, forces supporting Maduro prevented the cargo from crossing into Venezuela, while the president called the operation a plot to overthrow him.