Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has cursed the United States for not being on the US donor list for corona vaccines.
“They hate us; they have negative, miserable feelings about us,” the dictatorial leader said in a video message circulated on social media.
Maduro specifically directed his anger at James Story, the US ambassador to Caracas. “James Story, you are pathetic. You hate Venezuela and despise it because we are rebels.”
The authoritarian communist president responded to the Biden administration’s message to donate 25 million doses of vaccine to countries in South America, Africa and Asia, especially those who need it most, according to the WHO organization Covax. About six million doses are going to Latin America and the Caribbean, but Venezuela is not among the beneficiaries.
Story announced via Twitter that the US would like to help the Venezuelan population in the fight against Covid-19 but that a “transparent vaccination system is necessary”. There are regular long lines at the injection clinics in the capital, but little is known publicly about the progress of the vaccination campaign and the apparent lack of vaccine.
Due to the political and economic crisis, oil-rich Venezuela is facing severe shortages of everything, including medicines, food and even gasoline. Venezuela has officially registered 238,000 corona infections and nearly 2,700 deaths from Covid-19, but the accuracy of those numbers is questioned. The actual numbers are probably much higher, not least because of the limited testing capacity.