Powerful nations like the United States extend a helping hand to struggling third-world nations more often than not. Many of these countries don’t have access to the most basic of services, leaving their citizens impoverished and suffering in times of crisis. At times, it is the government’s fault why the country can’t meet the needs of the people. Poor economic management has led to soaring inflation and an epidemic shortage of food and medicines badly needed by the people.
It’s what happened to the socialist country that is Venezuela even though theirs is a country naturally rich in gold and oil. People die even from the most minor of injuries and medical conditions. Unfortunately, instead of accepting help, the Venezuelan government refuses foreign aid much to the horror of its suffering constituents. And the situation will probably worsen than it already is because the possibility of electing a new leader this coming election won’t likely happen with the stronghold of the current administration that is still currently actively seeking out and persecuting those who protests under the current Maduro administration.
For the last two years Norma Camero Reno has been shipping a steady supply of desperately needed medicines from the United States to Venezuela. Reno and other members of her nonprofit, Move Foundation, pack painkillers, cold medicines and other supplies to be distributed to hospitals, health clinics and churches throughout the beleaguered nation.
Two weeks ago, however, that all changed.
Reno, a Venezuelan-born, Tampa-based lawyer and founder of the foundation, said that for years her organization faced very little pushback from the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro when sending packages of food and medicine to the country. But when she arrived in the small, Venezuelan coastal city of Barcelona two weeks ago, Reno discovered that none of the recent medicine shipments had made it to her contacts in the country.
While the group has in the past had to deal with Venezuelan officials confiscating food shipments, this was the first time that medicine has been stopped from being delivered.
“They are stopping everything from going in,” Reno told Fox News. “They are taking everything for themselves.”
Some humanitarian groups have tried yet failed to deliver these much-needed medicines to the Venezuelans. Even the wife of the opposition leader who is now rotting away in prison wrote a plea to the government to at least open the humanitarian channel, so that civic groups can send foreign aid especially medicine supplies desperately needed by many Venezuelans these days.
After four years of sending monthly shipments of medicine and food for hospitals and needy people in Venezuela, Move Org, a non-profit based in Miami, abruptly stopped three weeks ago.
“We stopped because we are seeing that boxes and containers are being opened and searched in Venezuela. We don’t want problems,” said Hilda Marina Alcalá, the Florida vice-president of the non-profit.
Move Org had been sending up to five to seven pallets of donations monthly to help alleviate the burden that the economic and political crisis gripping the South American nation has had on its people.
But recently, the Venezuelan government banned the import of a series of items they deem “war material.” Government officials accuse the opposition in Venezuela of using international courier services to send products to equip protesters in the two months of almost daily clashes with security forces.
Although the main reason why the Venezuelan government shuns foreign aid is that they are searching for possible war materials sent by non-profits, which are actually often just bulletproof vests and gas masks and helmets but consequently prevented the delivery even of medicines and medical supplies that are urgently needed by many sick Venezuelans.
As a result, even foreign non-profits that have been extending assistance for years and decades now have stopped sending weekly food and medicine shipment among others knowing that they will just be confiscated by the government and not reach its intended recipients. These groups have been arguing how the government can consider medicines as war materials that will be used in the on-going violent anti-government protests by the Venezuelans who have long been upset with the system and desperately in need of change.