The economic blockade imposed by the United States against Venezuela has prevented some 18 million boxes of food from the Local Supply and Production Committees, CLAP, from reaching the country, declared the Vice President of Venezuela’s National Constitutional Assembly, Aristobulo Isturiz.
The leader denounced U.S. economic sanctions on Venezuela, saying that they affect Venezuelan people — including the country’s most vulnerable sectors — the most, and not President Nicolas Maduro, as the U.S. government says it intends to do.
Isturiz explained that the latest round of sanctions against the Bolivarian nation blocked the payment of the boxes. It was only when countries allied with Venezuela intervened in the payment process, that the food was able to make its way in.
CLAP delivers food to communities throughout the country.
The socialist party leader said the sanctions are part of an “asymmetrical war.”
While Venezuela does have a food crisis that has resulted in mass food shortages, the blame is often pinned on the country’s socialist government. Government officials accuse right-wing opposition forces and their allies in the private sector and in international finance of intentionally sabotaging the economy.
Last year, over 750 opposition-controlled offshore companies linked to the Panama Papers scandal were accused of purposely redirecting Venezuelan imports of raw food materials from the government to the private sector. Many of these companies sell their products to private companies in Colombia, which resell them to Venezuelans living close to Colombia.
In one of many attacks on food warehouses and distribution during recent opposition-led violence, in June protesters attacked a state-owned storehouse, setting fire to the building and destroying food reserves that were kept there.
About 50 tons of food that would have been distributed through the Mercal subsidized food market and subsidized government programs were ravaged by the flames, affecting some 40,000 families.