1. Venezuela is experiencing new peaks of transmission of COVID 19 with a dramatic increase in infections, deaths and saturated healthcare services unable to serve its citizens. The reason can be explained by the relaxation of prevention measures in recent months and the non-responsible relaxation during the holiday periods of Christmas 2020, and Carnival and Easter of 2021. The pandemic in Venezuela is unfortunately far from having ended.
2. The fear and anguish of Venezuelans increase when they observe perplexed that Nicolás Maduro’s regime fails to fulfill its promise (of Nov, 15/20) to vaccinate 10 million Venezuelans with Sputnik V in the first quarter of 2021, because supposedly “the Russian vaccine would be manufactured in Venezuelan laboratories.” The only certainty is that we are participating in a deeply inhuman and discriminatory event that violates the right to life when the few vaccines that have reached the country have been assigned to the bureaucratic structure of the State (ministers, deputies, governors, mayors, councilors), to the leaders of the ruling party, and their families in general.
3. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, resolution number 1 of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on vaccination (Apr 6/21) and the Magna Carta of our Republic establish in their articles THE RIGHT TO LIFE as inherent to the human person and its obligatory protection by law. The right to healthcare when it comes to serious diseases, such as Covid-19, is intrinsically related to the right to life. This, and no other, is the main issue of concern and worry for Venezuelans. There is a national demand for a great concertation that allows saving lives, mitigates the pandemic through public policies, in the healthcare, epidemiological, economic and social fields that gives access to vaccines to millions of Venezuelans and not only to party leaders or those who have the so called “carnet de la patria” (political control mechanism). Venezuela demands AN AGREEMENT FOR LIFE, which is precisely an essential element of the Agreement for National Salvation.
4. Venezuela demands access to vaccination against Covid-19 on the basis of the humanitarian principles of equality, human dignity, transparency and non-discrimination. Vaccines are health goods and services that must meet availability, accessibility, and quality standards related to the right to health. Vaccination is a safe strategy to reduce mortality and serious illness. The advancement of vaccination against covid 19 in people at risk has as main objective the reduction of mortality.
There is no justification for not using the COVAX platform devised by the World Health Organization to facilitate vaccination in low and middle income countries on the planet. The procrastination and carelessness of the ruling autocracy in Venezuela in this matter has to stop. The 2015 National Assembly and the Interim Government have taken solid steps in terms of allocating funds to this mechanism to bring vaccines to our country.
Latin America and the Caribbean have been late and have scarcely immunized 3% of its population, with exceptions such as Chile 46%, and El Salvador 17%, but Venezuela barely reaches 1.2%. An agreement for life must establish immunization with the vaccine in 2021 of no less than 15 million Venezuelans, that would be a little more than 50% of those who remain in our homeland.
5. From the ‘Frente Amplio Venezuela Libre’ we join the nation’s clamor that demands that the ruling elite to publish (create) a vaccination plan or schedule, revealing how many people it aspires to immunize and which vaccine will be used, how many human and logistical resources it hopes to mobilize and the financial cost of the program.
The vaccination plan from a human rights and equity approach should mainly and primarily serve the most vulnerable population and those with the highest risk of contagion. All the countries in the world have done this.
Attention to vulnerable people involves first vaccinating all healthcare system personnel who fight on the front line and in precarious conditions to save lives, then people over 60 years of age with underlying or chronic diseases, in attention to the fact that the Statistics of the Latin American region, people over sixty (60) years of age registered more than 82% of deaths in 2020 and of those who required mechanical ventilation, approximately 80% died. The schedule continues with the vaccination of citizens over 60 years of age without pathologies, pregnant women with 9 months of gestation, detained patients and people with disabilities.
The countries of the world never prioritized ruling politicians since this would mean a blatant violation of the human right to life of the vulnerable.
6. Many other things must be done in a situation of epidemiological and sanitary emerngency such as the one Venezuela is experiencing. We need a common national regulatory framework to face the pandemic, minimize the number of infections and guarantee hospital care for those who require it.
To preserve human life, the economy, education and all social activities, it is crucial to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by implementing or extending sanitary measures aimed at reducing circulation and risk activities to reduce the spread of the virus in this new outbreak.
In this sense, attention to the issues of production, business operation, employment, the salary of formal workers and the minimum income of informal workers, food and inclusive programs against hunger and poverty, attention to pensioners and retirees require the implementation of temporary and intensive measures.
The people of Venezuela deserve and need to overcome this hour of anguish and suffering. An agreement for life calls us to the unity of the nation in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
No more deaths due to the irresponsibility and discrimination of the regime
A deal for life now!
In Caracas, June 7th, 2021