U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green's Remarks on Humanitarian Assistance for Venezuela

Chief of Mission Residence Lima, Peru

For Immediate Release

Saturday, April 14, 2018
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

ADMINISTRATOR GREEN:  Thank you, Mr. Vice President.  You said it very well, so I'll just add a few brief thoughts.  To be clear, the humanitarian assistance that we are announcing today is not about politics.  It is about helping the victims of a massive crisis. This aid is based upon need and need alone, because America will always stand with the hungry and the displaced.  That's simply who we are as Americans.

However, we cannot pretend that this situation falls into the same category as the natural disasters that we have seen over the last year - hurricanes and earthquakes.  Let's be honest, in some ways, this is more tragic because it is entirely man-made and regime-made. Now, we have all heard stories of the terrible suffering and the hunger among Venezuelans.  What I think many people don't realize, especially those of us in the U.S., is that this crisis is also causing the largest displacement in Latin American history. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their homeland to escape the brutality and the corruption of the Maduro regime - 1.6 million, in fact.  They're fleeing not only to their immediate neighbors but to something like 20 other countries as well.

Remember, Venezuela was once the wealthiest nation in South America.  It has vast natural resources. It should be a donor nation, a regional leader, providing assistance to other, less-developed nations and less fortunate people.  But instead of responding to suffering, it's driving it, causing widespread shortages of food, medicine, and fuel. The assistance that we are announcing today will help Venezuelans in Colombia and Brazil cope with hardship, with things like potable water, shelter, and other supplies.  

As good neighbors and supporters of the Venezuelan people, we are glad to be able to help, but we all know that this action is merely a short-term response, not a solution. For the sake of the Venezuelan people and the entire region, we must hope that the Maduro regime releases its crushing grip and that we see a return to democracy and to rule of law, for the sake of the Venezuelan people who deserve a peaceful, hopeful future.

With that, let me turn things over to our partner in this, Paco Palmieri.  Paco.

Last updated: April 14, 2018

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