Members of the Venezuelan community in Barbados are pleading with the embattled Nicolás Maduro-led administration to allow humanitarian aid into their homeland and ease the suffering of their countrymen.
The call from a group of almost 20 members of the Venezuela Association of Barbados (VAB) was made as they stood outside the Venezuelan Embassy in Hastings, Christ Church, to pray for a resolution to the crisis which has affected their families.
Venezuela was thrown into further turmoil on January 28 when opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, declared himself de facto president, getting the support of the United States and several other Western countries. The military, which continues to support Maduro, has since blocked the bridge that connects Venezuela to Colombia, to stop food and medicine from getting into the country.
Spokesperson for the VAB, Mirna Hughes, has beseeched the Venezuela government to accept the aid.
“What we want from the . . . regime of Venezuela is that they allow the humanitarian help,” she said, as she disputed assertions that all was well in the Bolivarian Republic.
“They say there is no humanitarian crisis but they [have been] bringing food and medicine now more than ten years ago. It is needed because people have been dying for years,” added Hughes, who lost three
family members due to lack of access to medicine.
“There is malnutrition for children, the elderly, pregnant mothers. There is no medicine, the cancer patients are dying like flies, kidney transplantations have no medicine to support their treatment, the dialysis centres are gone, there is no electricity, there is no water.”
The Venezuelan woman was in tears as she recalled the struggles of her mother who was on dialysis prior to her death in 2016.
She rubbished claims that the Western media was promoting propaganda about the situation in the land of her birth, and further criticized the response of organizations such as the Friends of Venezuela.
“They cannot come to me and tell me they have family in Venezuela that is living fine, that they have medicine and they have food. That is a lie. That is a horrible lie!” contended Hughes. “With friends like that, we don’t need enemies.”