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  • Venezuela prioritizes the health of its people in times of pandemic.

    Venezuela prioritizes the health of its people in times of pandemic. | Photo: Twitter/@PresidenciaVE

Published 12 January 2021
Opinion

"In Venezuela, peace was imposed, the Constitution triumphed, and we must proudly say: Venezuela triumphed," emphasized the Head of State.

The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, offered this Tuesday his annual message before the new National Assembly where he highlighted the country's fight against the pandemic and the defense of the sovereignty amid the illegal economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the White House.

"We have returned, as it should be and as the Constitution establishes, complying with the sacred mandates of our Magna Carta (...) When I was there five years ago, it was another situation, but the feeling and will is the same," said the Venezuelan president.

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President Maduro affirmed that during the December elections, the country lived a turn to peace, "peace prevailed, the Constitution triumphed, and we must say with much pride: "Venezuela triumphed!"

Referring to Juan Guaido, an accomplice of the attacks and promoter of illegal economic, financial and commercial sanctions; the President urged justice: "it was difficult to imagine the damage they could do, it was the beginning of the five year period of betrayal and cruelty, which we must talk about today and always so that they are not forgotten nor remain unpunished," he expressed.

"Since 2013, our economy has suffered the worst attack to avoid production itself. At this point, I call on all the deputies to help raise the country's overall economy (...) The U.S. has blocked us criminally and cruelly during the five years that the outgoing National Assembly was in session," the President recalled.

The head of state explained that the White House attack covers all aspects of the national economy, "it is a multiform attack, covering aspects of the real economy such as income, currency, foreign debt, oil production and imports of essential goods," he added.

"I want to reiterate the total disposition of the cabinet to attend work meetings, interpellations so that the Economy Commission assumes the elaboration of the laws for the recovery," indicated the President.

The head of state affirmed that between 2007-2012 the government obtained 56,900 million dollars in a healthy economy. Still, from 2013 to 2018, it fell drastically due to the attacks: "salaries have been one of the most impacted, as well as, our oil companies," he said.

"Between the years 2014-2017, PDVSA's production fell by 69 percent due to the sanctions and criminal blockades...we lasted 13 months without selling a single drop of oil to the world, but we were still able to maintain the social investment," expressed the head of state.

Alluding to the impacts of PDVSA's production, the President said that due to the sanctions, 102.5 million dollars and 2,153 million barrels of crude volume had been lost for refining and export.

"Donald Trump's criminal policy has been to prosecute Venezuelan accounts criminally; we have been robbed of more than $43 billion. This has caused a criminal balance in the social life of the Venezuelan people," emphasized President Maduro.

"The blockade and the sanctions have also disturbed the productive system and have done enormous damage to foreign companies that were doing business with Venezuela," said President Maduro.

Regarding the national currency that is the Bolivar, the President denounced that valorization has been attacked, "they have attacked our currency to damage the Bolivar, but we have resisted boldly. We are accepting the currencies to open accounts in the digital economy throughout the country," he added.

"The use of foreign currency has been important to recover the Venezuelan economy; I consider that the dollarization in the national commerce is an escape valve to alleviate the country's economy," said the head of state.

The President announced the digitalization of payment for the use of transportation, "we can say that we have created the first decentralized Stock Exchange to revive the national economy (...) we are going to digitize the economy in 2021 to capture foreign currencies and use the Bolivar. Where 77 percent of the economy will be digital in bolivars and 20 percent in cash currencies," he explained.

"I am sure that with the Anti-Blockade Law and oil production, we can recover the economy. That is why I ask for help from the Economic Commission to grow the different levels of production," requested the President.

Despite the illegal sanctions, the head of state indicated that 76.4 percent of the nation's budget would be invested in the social sector by 2021, "we must reinvent ourselves in industry and commerce for a family, social and community economy," he added.

"We can say that we have 21 million people registered in the social protection system, in the Carnet de la Patria. We kept 100 percent of pensioners and more than 5 million people throughout the territory," the President acknowledged.

To deepen the participation of the popular sectors in the decision-making process, the President proposed, in the framework of the year of the bicentennial of Carabobo, the Communal Parliament's creation.

"Last year, it concentrated the largest number of military and paramilitary aggression perpetrated by the Trumpist and extremist right in Venezuela and Latin America, using the facade of the outgoing National Assembly and the support of foreign governments," denounced the Venezuelan President. 

The President recalled that the attacks ranged from sabotage of public services to armed attempts, "more than 400 actions aimed at undermining national institutions (...) During the Trump government, they attempted the assassination of a degree of frustration before me. The opposition took advantage of the outgoing National Assembly to attack us, block us and act with cruelty," he added.

"We have lived the cruelest and most criminal five years in the legislative history of Venezuela. Fifteen million dollars was the price they put on my head. Operation Gideon showed the evil of the U.S. government towards all Venezuelans," communicated the Head of State.

The President recognized the effectiveness of the Civil-Military Union to end the pretensions of the fascist right-wing to invade Venezuela militarily, "gringo spies have also been captured in their plans to attack us. We can say that we have a perfect civic, military and police union, we have the support of the communal guards, we are organized," he pondered.

"For the Bolivarian Revolution, free and quality public health is always a human right, and thanks to the Barrio Adentro Mission, we were able to quickly deploy with the people a house-to-house search for the coronavirus to detect it and cut off the transmission," informed President Maduro.

The head of state recalled that since the creation of the Presidential Commission against Covid-19, the population has been protected from the pandemic, "in Venezuela we began to take precautions early, that is why on February 28 the Presidential Commission against Covid was set up, directed by Vice President Delcy Eloína Rodríguez Gómez," he added.

"The Commission is integrated by authorities in each area to save lives. The first two cases arrived from Spain on March 13, 2020, a day before we had subtracted flights to Colombia and Europe, areas very affected by the virus," emphasized President Maduro. 

Concerning biosecurity measures, the President highlighted the use of the mask, "I convinced myself to call on all Venezuelans to use the mask as the main element in biosecurity measures. Our country only reports 120,000 cases in more than 300 days of the pandemic, a percentage lower than 15 citizens per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the lowest rates in the world," he reiterated.

"We set up more than 58 specialized sentinel hospitals in Covid and 400 CDIs for the hospitalization of patients and a countless number of hospitals installed in hotels in the country, and we have the medical brigades of our sister Cuba, and we also incorporated medical students who were finishing university," explained the head of state.

President Maduro pointed out that Venezuela was the first country in the region to decree a raid and flexible quarantine, "we were the first country in the whole continent to take measures. Today we have the best preventive scheme with the new normality. On March 17, the 335 municipalities entered into quarantine; only the food, health and medicine sectors were allowed", he added.  

The President recalled that the fight against the virus is taking place amid the illegal blockade imposed by the United States (U.S.), "300 days later we have completed the mission, even though the State has lost 99 percent of the resources entering the country, unable to enter into international trade to be able to buy freely," he said. 

"They freeze us, they freeze and steal the bank accounts from the North, they sanction the suppliers, shipping companies and any person or company that has commercial ties with Venezuela, this is because of the criminal blockade," said the President.

"We suspended the payment of rents and credits, we granted protection bonds to the country's families and workers, we took over the payroll of private companies and dictated an economic scheme to support the protection of all," said President Maduro. 

Another support is the rescue of thousands of Venezuelans in countries of the region in the middle of the pandemic, "despite the restrictions and the blockade; I activated again the "Return to the Homeland" Plan to reunite Venezuelan families," the head of state said.

"We have a list of Venezuelans who want to return from Panama, Ecuador, and Chile. As of February 1, we will triple the plan to rescue Venezuelans in those countries. The plan is financed with our resources," said the President.

Weighing the results of the 7+7 Plus method, the president urged the authorities to share experiences with other nations to control contagion, "we are going to explain to the World Health Organization its application and how it can combine maximum quarantine prevention and production, economy and prosperity," he explained.

"Venezuela reached two medicines, whose scientific tests prove their effectiveness in nullifying the Covid-19 virus. Both medicines have already been sent to the World Health Organization," announced President Maduro.

Likewise, the Chief of State informed that in the next few days, the vaccines coming from Russia would arrive in the country, "very soon the first 10 million Sputnik V vaccines will be arriving in Venezuela to start with the massive vaccination and ALBA is approving and proving the effectiveness of Cuba's Sovereign 02," he communicated.

"We thank the People's Republic of China for all its scientific contributions to the fight against Covid-19. Also, we thank the brothers of Cuba, who sent a fleet of white coats and helped the country," reiterated the president.

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