The president of the Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, made a somewhat unusual proposal this Sunday (28). Because of the chronic economic crisis facing the country, the president offered to use oil to pay for vaccines against Covid-19.

Maduro did not give details on how the operation would take place, but this would also be a way to be able to export his oil. Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA faces an embargo from United States and other American business partners.

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According to the politician, Venezuela works to pay for immunizers sent by the consortium Covax Facility, the World Health Organization (WHO), an international alliance offering immunizations to poor countries.

Payments are already made through Venezuelan funds blocked abroad. Maduro's idea would be to send oil shipments as a second payment alternative.

"Venezuela has oil tankers and customers who will buy our oil." Maduro declared to the state television network. "We are ready and prepared to exchange oil for vaccines, but we are not going to beg anyone," he added.

Vaccination in Venezuela

Vaccine was made in partnership between the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca. Image: Lutsenko_Oleksandr / Shutterstock.com
Venezuelan government did not want to receive Oxford vaccine. Image: Lutsenko_Oleksandr / Shutterstock.com

Venezuela currently has immunizers sent by two of its few political allies, the China and Russia. However, the government and opposition have been negotiating other vaccines with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) so that the country has more options.

But last week the Venezuelan government declared that it would not accept receiving the vaccine Oxford / AstraZeneca, which is the most widespread immunizer by Covax Facility in Latin America.

According to the United States government, Nicolás Maduro defrauded the polls in 2018 to win his re-election and committed a series of human rights violations to repress his opponents.

Since then, the country has faced a series of trade sanctions and has seen its economy melt away. For Washington, Maduro is not even the president of Venezuela, since, since 2019, they and about 50 other countries, including Brazil, consider Juan Guaidó as the de facto president.

With information from Reuters

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