Monday, April 22, 2019 | ePaper

US says countries reviewing aid plan for Venezuela

  • Print


The US led a meeting in Washington to discuss support for Venezuelan opposition leader and self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido.



US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that a group of countries are discussing plans to provide financial support to Venezuela, amid the country's economic collapse.
In addition, the representative of Venezuela's self-declared interim President Juan Guaido presented the group with the economic reform plan to help stabilize the nation's imploding economy, Mnuchin said.
Guaido in late January challenged the legitimacy of embattled President Nicolas Maduro, and Guaido has been recognized by more than 50 countries.
Mnuchin held a meeting with finance ministers from several Latin American countries - including Mexico which has not formally recognized Guaido - as well as Germany, Japan, Spain and Britain.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have said they cannot begin to dispatch aid to help with the growing humanitarian crisis until the international community formally recognizes a government in Caracas.
The finance ministers group on Thursday "discussed plans for future economic support of Venezuela," Mnuchin said in a statement, but cautioned that it may require "a long and costly process of rebuilding Venezuela after many years of poor economic policies and kleptocracy."
Guaido's economic advisor Ricardo Hausmann also attended, and the officials considered his "economic policy vision to stabilize Venezuela's financial system, root out public corruption, and spur economic growth."
The depth of the crisis is staggering. In addition to an exodus of nearly three million Venezuelans since 2015, and recent nationwide power outages, the IMF estimates that Venezuela's economy will contract by one-fourth in 2019, and a further 10 percent in 2020 - a greater collapse than projected in October, along with unprecedented hyperinflation of 10 million percent.
Mnuchin said the finance ministers discussed steps taken "to increase financial pressure on the Maduro regime" and agreed to support Guaido's plan to hold new elections to allow a "transition to a legitimate government as soon as possible," and to restart the private sector.
"We are committed to work with partners to prepare these mechanisms and we are prepared to work with Venezuela to provide technical assistance and capacity building," Mnuchin said. "The ministers agreed to monitor developments in Venezuela closely."
The major crisis lenders however cannot engage with Venezuela until there
is a clear decision on recognition.
IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the institution has "done as much preparatory work as we could… in order to be prepared to act as quickly and as swiftly as we can," but is awaiting a decision by the membership.
"We are really very, very concerned about the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding in front of our eyes in Venezuela," Lagarde said.
The IMF said Wednesday it could have no contact with Caracas, and would not allow the country access to its IMF-held reserves, until the international community recognized a government in Caracas.
The fund has had no direct access to events on the ground as the global crisis-lender had not been welcome in Venezuela for about 15 years.
Her comments echoed those of newly-installed World Bank President David Malpass, who also told reporters that the institution's shareholders would decide when and how to engage with Caracas.
Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday called on the United Nations to recognize Guaido. The Organization of American States' permanent council and the Inter-American Development Bank have recognized Hausmann as Guaido's representative.

More News For this Category

Egyptians vote in referendum to extend Sisi's rule

Egyptians vote in referendum to extend Sisi's rule

AFP, Cairo :Egyptians start voting Saturday in a referendum that aims to cement the rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former coup leader presenting himself as a rock

Turkey arrests suspected spies for UAE, investigating Khashoggi link

Turkey arrests suspected spies for UAE, investigating Khashoggi link

Reuters, Ankara :Turkey has arrested two suspects who confessed to spying on Arab nationals for the United Arab Emirates, and is investigating whether the arrival in Turkey of one

Peru's ex- President denies corruption, claims in suicide note

Peru's ex- President denies corruption, claims in suicide note

AFP, Lima :A suicide note in which Peru's Alan Garcia denied corruption charges against him set the backdrop Friday for the ex-president's funeral, two days after he put a

Trump rating drops 3 points to 2019 low post Mueller report

Trump rating drops 3 points to 2019 low post Mueller report

Reuters, New York  :The number of Americans who approve of President Donald Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of

News In Brief

Iraq to host regional rivals Iran, Saudi Arabia at conferenceReuters, Baghdad Iraq will host senior parliamentary officials from arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran on Saturday as Prime Minister Adel

 Assad calls for progress in stalled talks

Assad calls for progress in stalled talks

AFP, Damascus :Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday called for progress on a stalled buffer zone deal around jihadist-dominated Idlib region ahead of fresh talks aimed at ending his

Thousands of Peruvians say goodbye to ex-president following suicide

Thousands of Peruvians say goodbye to ex-president following suicide

Reuters, Lima :Thousand of Peruvians said goodbye on Thursday in Lima to ex-president Alan Garcia-who killed himself this week - in the second of three days of national mourning declared

'World's smallest baby boy' set to go home in Japan

'World's smallest baby boy' set to go home in Japan

AFP, Tokyo :The world's smallest baby boy, who was born in October in Japan weighing as much as an apple, is now ready for the outside world, his doctor said

US President Trump declares victory on Mueller report D-Day

US President Trump declares victory on Mueller report D-Day

President Donald Trump, backed by his attorney general, declared himself fully vindicated on Thursday in the investigation into Russian election meddling and alleged collusion with his campaign - even before

Mali govt resigns as anger mounts over Ogossagou massacre

Mali govt resigns as anger mounts over Ogossagou massacre

AFP, Bamako : Mali's prime minister resigned along with his entire government on Thursday following criticism over their handling of an upsurge of violence in the centre of the country and