Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Wednesday that without the economic sanctions that the country is subjected to, Venezuela would have already bought the anticovid vaccines it needs.
"If Venezuela did not have its resources blocked [abroad], three months ago we would have bought the 30 million vaccines that the country needs" of almost 30 million inhabitants, the minister said in an interview with AFP.
“Since they are blocked, there we are. A few come with the Russians, a few come with the Chinese ”, he added.
Venezuela has received just under 1 million vaccines: 250.000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V and half a million from the Chinese pharmaceutical Sinopharm.
His vaccination plan currently includes health personnel and teachers.
"We not only had the 30 million vaccines, but we would have vaccinated half the population if we did not have the mechanisms dammed in the international banking system," he added. The goal of the Venezuelan government is to vaccinate 70% of the population this year.
Maduro also negotiates his access to the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization in the midst of a political dispute with the opposition Juan Guaidó, who has dammed and controls Venezuelan funds blocked abroad.
"We hope that PAHO will receive the resources for the purchase of vaccines in Venezuela, PAHO and the Covax mechanism, and that they will give us our vaccines, which we will pay for," said Arreaza.
Earlier, the director of the Department of Health Emergencies of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Ciro Ugarte, said that “negotiations and conversations continue and efforts to unlock Venezuela's resources abroad are still in process. ”.
"In such a way that the payment for access to the Covax mechanism has not been made," he added.
Venezuela is going through a second wave of covid-19, which the authorities assure is "more virulent" and they link with Brazilian variants.