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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Maduro Blocks UN Food Aid Into Venezuela

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro is blocking a deal to allow the United Nations food agency to bring aid into Venezuela, as he insists on controlling distribution.

Venezuelan dictator Nicolas Maduro is blocking a deal to allow the United Nations food agency to bring aid into Venezuela, as he insists on controlling distribution.

According to an El Pais Friday report, people familiar with the matter said that negotiators reached a tentative deal with the government around two months ago, but Maduro is refusing to sign. At issue, they say, is control of the aid, considering that the World Food Program requires neutral, non-political distribution, while Maduro wants it channeled through networks he controls.

The agreement, which has been negotiated for eight months, would allow the UN’s World Food Program and international aid groups to bring food into Venezuela, where one in three people was undernourished even before this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been discussing with the government of Venezuela the way forward to provide assistance to those who are food insecure in the country. The process is still ongoing,” the agency told El Pais in an emailed statement, adding that it is guided by principles of “humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.”

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