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News > Venezuela

Venezuela Seeks To Swap Oil for COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Health workers vaccinate citizens, Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 22, 2021.

    Health workers vaccinate citizens, Caracas, Venezuela, Feb. 22, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 29 March 2021 (6 hours 45 minutes ago)
Opinion

"We would guarantee all doses to vaccinate 100 percent of our population," President Maduro pointed out.

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro approved the "Oil for Vaccines" payment scheme as a strategy to advance the national vaccination campaign and face the freezing of Venezuelan assets by the U.S. and other countries.

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Venezuelan frozen funds abroad amount to almost US$7 billion, which cannot be used to fight the pandemic due to U.S. arbitrary sanctions.

The Bolivarian nation advocates for these funds to be received by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to purchase COVID-19 vaccines while lawsuits against different banks continue the judicial channels.

"Venezuela has oil tankers... part of the oil production will be used to buy the vaccines the country needs", Maduro said.

The South American nation is part of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a multilateral initiative that guarantees doses to only 20 percent of the country's population. 

The stripping of Venezuelan resources began in 2019 when New York City transferred the Central Bank of Venezuela's funds to the U.S. Federal Reserve. Furthermore, the Bank of England withholds Venezuelan gold valued at an estimated US$1.2 billion.

"We would guarantee all doses to vaccinate 100 percent of our population. We have acquired Russian and Chinese vaccines, and we are approving others," Maduro said. 

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