NEW YORK (February 22, 2019) — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) demands that Venezuelan dictatorship allow humanitarian aid to enter the country this weekend, and refrain from using any type of violence against the volunteers and members of the democratic opposition who are coordinating the relief efforts.
Amid an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has pushed 90% of Venezuelans below the poverty line and resulted in the average Venezuelan consuming less than 900 calories per day, the international community, in coordination with interim President Juan Guaidó, are expecting to distribute the aid collected abroad across the Cúcuta border with Colombia this weekend. Yesterday, riot police blocked Guaidó and other lawmakers from crossing the border as they attempted to reach the aid.
“President Guaidó knows the Venezuelan people desperately need this aid. On top of the current political crisis, Venezuela is facing a horrifying humanitarian disaster caused by the Maduro regime’s inept and corrupt economic policies,” HRF President Thor Halvorssen said. “The fact that humanitarian aid for starving Venezuelans is seen as a threat is just another sign that Maduro’s regime is nothing but a cruel dictatorship that must come to an end as soon as possible.”
In 2017, HRF sent dozens of letters to high-ranking military officers in Venezuela denouncing their role in committing crimes against humanity, and urging them to lay down their weapons and support a peaceful transition to democracy in the country. Today, HRF urges the military in Venezuela once again to refrain from following orders that would result in human rights violations, and to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country. Over 600,000 volunteers have already signed up to help bring aid into the country to date.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.