Venezuela proposes creation of UN System fund against blockade

Vice-president for Planning of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Ricardo Menéndez proposed on Tuesday the creation of a public resource fund within the UN System to face discrimination and economic blockades against countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his speech at the 35th period of sessions of the Permanent Council of the Economic Commission for Latin American and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Menéndez highlighted that this is one of the central tasks in a new post-pandemic normality based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN System.

In this regard, the Venezuelan planning vice-president explained it is necessary to use resources from international systems for the UN System “to create a fund so that governments can purchase within this system in a revolving scheme of resources.”

Likewise, he urged to strengthen financing policies and funds aimed at relocating productive chains, local economies and new productive actors, as well as the creation of free technology banks for productive and universal training processes.

Precedence of life over capital

Regarding the actions carried out by Venezuela to face the COVID-19 sanitary crisis, the Venezuela planning vice-president stressed that the Venezuelan model gives precedence to life and health.

“We are attending to all cases across our territory despite the economic blockade imposed by the U.S. regime,” he explained.

Menéndez also highlighted the lessons given by the Republic of Cuba, based on the principles of humanity and the fight against the pandemic, while  “giving precedence to markets over life and the human right to health puts an end to old assumptions that the most developed countries could better face the pandemic and post-pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Venezuela has proven it is not an issue of resources, “but an issue of human criteria in public policies and sovereign, fair financial mechanisms.” As the South American country has been brutally sieged, it has also given lessons of how a crisis can be overcome beyond attacks.

“In the midst of human needs, unilateral measures seek to asphyxiate the food and medicine supply chains. However, our food and health programs have been strengthened,” said Menéndez.

Therefore, Venezuela “joins the demand issued by the UN System regarding conflicts against countries and the external debt payment (…) It’s criminal to add the systemic, chronic disease of unilateralism to the pandemic,” said Menendez as he gave an overview of the criminal, unilateral coercive measures imposed against the South American country by the U.S. Government, which has escalated them amid the sanitary emergency.

The Venezuelan high-ranking official lamented the pandemic has caused further havoc “since we have a world plagued by inequalities,” which have been expanded by the virus.

“The new normality scheme needs to be an opportunity to see problems and base our actions on them,” he reflected.