The Venezuelan Ambassador to the US, Carlos Vecchio held a meeting with the Venezuelan diaspora in the city of Chicago where he highlighted the efforts made by the Interim Government of President Juan Guaidó for the entry of Venezuela into the COVAX mechanism, the formulation of a responsible vaccination plan, and the entry of international humanitarian agencies such as the United Nations World Food Program, to address the critical situation caused by Maduro’s dictatorship in Venezuela.
‘The damage caused by the complex humanitarian emergency accentuated by COVID-19 in Venezuela is profound, that is why we promote humanitarian aid and the COVAX mechanism. The pressure led the regime to join the initiative that would allow Venezuelans to get vaccines against the pandemic, and that pressure from organized civil society in conjunction with the Interim Government finally made it possible for the UN World Food Program to enter Venezuela after years of reality denial by Maduro’s regime.”
Regarding the care of the pandemic in Venezuela, Vecchio reported: “We have asked the U.S. of A. that, just as it made a loan for vaccines to other countries, it could the same with Venezuela. But it is not enough to have vaccines, you also have to have a vaccination plan. The few that arrived served to vaccinate the regime and generate a black market. That is why the COVAX mechanism is necessary to reach medical personnel and the most vulnerable. COVID19 in Venezuela has caused an apocalyptic scenario, and this must be said in a way that reveals the harshness of what the country is experiencing,” he state from the ‘Santa María del Lago’ Church in Chicago.
The Ambassador stressed that the commitment as Venezuelans remains firm regarding the political change necessary to achieve a democratic transition in the country, which is why he shared a reflection with all those who have been forced to emigrate from Venezuela. “Prayer and faith are an element that fills us with strength and inner peace. Today we have the possibility to mobilize because we know that the objectives are going to be achieved. The transition is going to come and the reconstruction stage of our country is going to come, and I say this in the house of God. We are not alone, we have significant support, the Venezuelan cause has become a Latin American cause, we have the support of the United States. The pressure of all Venezuelans united, the diaspora and those who are still in Venezuela, is what will drive the change.”
Since 2019, the Embassy of the interim Government of Guaidó in the United States together with the Venezuelan diaspora, has managed to strengthen the bipartisan support to the Venezuelan cause of the Administration, Congress and the Senate, through actions such as international pressure on Maduro’s regime, the donation of humanitarian aid to Venezuela, the acceptance of expired passports, the implementation of the DED and TPS, the recovery of goods and assets from the looting of the regime, and more recently, the proposal to create a fund with said assets recovered by the US that allows obtaining vaccines against COVID-19 for all Venezuelans.
“The more support we have to achieve the transition, the better. Our effort aims to get rid of the criminal and corrupt dictatorship, but also to alleviate the suffering of Venezuelans and for us the cause of that suffering is political and if we do not solve it, the suffering will continue. We must all work to build that coalition and that international pressure to facilitate the transition that is so complex due to the type of dictatorship, because in Venezuela there are the terrorist groups ELN and FARC, the mafias of Iran, Russia and China and that is why we need international support,” he stressed.
Venezuelans in the US have until September to apply for TPS
Vecchio stressed that the period to register in the TPS for the more than 300 thousand Venezuelans in the US is until September 5th, that’s why he asked for the support of the entire diaspora to inform, disseminate the news and guide Venezuelans in this process.
“Just as we fought for TPS to be enacted, the task today is for us to fight so that the largest number of Venezuelans can register until September 5th, we have only 6 months. If you do not sign up you will not receive the benefit and part of the work we have done is to disseminate information and resolve your doubts. Part of the effort we have as Venezuelans here in the US is to spread the word about how TPS benefits and help everyone to make it accessible,” he said.
The Venezuelan diplomat reported that in order to “become multipliers of information,” instructions have been made available in Spanish for the TPS, guides on frequently asked questions and a series of consular services so that Venezuelans can carry out the process on their own. All this is available on the web www.us.embajadavenezuela.org so that it can be disseminated.
For his part, Manuel Dorante, parish priest of the ‘Santa María del Lago’ Church highlighted that the this Church “just as it was a home for my Mexican generation, now it’s up to us to return the favor to the new migrants,” and offered to support Venezuelans with free legal advice to obtain the benefit of TPS.
At the meeting, representatives of the Panas organizations in Chicago, the Illinois Venezuelan Alliance and the office of the Illinois Secretary of State delivered to the Ambassador a proclamation in commemoration of the signing of the Independence Act, for the fight and defense of the fundamental rights of Venezuelans, being the first time in 10 years that a Venezuelan Ambassador meets with the diaspora in Chicago. In addition, they paid tribute to all the fallen and victims of the dictatorship in Venezuela.