The European Union has announced that it is preparing to increase sanctions on Venezuela, as a new report claims the US plans to divert humanitarian aid funding to opposition forces led by Juan Guaido—raising concerns for the civilians in Venezuela.
A new report claims the Trump Administration is planning to invest more than $40 million dollars in Venezuela’s opposition group. But they are taking that money from humanitarian aid funds in Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras.
The report cited an internal memo, which claimed the money given to Guaido and his faction will be used to “pay for their salaries, airfare, ‘good governance’ training, propaganda, technical assistance for holding elections and other ‘democracy-building’ projects.”
The Trump administration has previously announced plans to cut aid to countries in Central America, claiming it would stop the flow of migrants seeking asylum in the US. But this appears to the be the first time a report indicated that the funding meant to feed and help impoverished children, will now be used to pay the salaries of Guaido and his supporters.
Meanwhile, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, announced plans to impose a new round of sanctions against Venezuela’s security forces, alleging that they are guilty of human rights violations.
“We continue to believe that a certain degree of pressure needs to be maintained. The Venezuelan regime needs to understand that the status quo is simply not an option,” Mogherini said. “It’s not sustainable, not for the country, not for its citizens, not for the region and not for the world.”
She claimed the sanctions can only be reversed if there is substantial progress toward the restoration of democracy. But a member of parliament from Ireland argued that with the current sanctions against the country, the most vulnerable civilians are hit the hardest.
“There is no sense in these sanctions. It’s a new form of terrorism. It aims to hurt the most vulnerable the most and they are the ones who suffer the most. It would be better if the US military invaded the place. And if they shot at the Venezuelans, at least the Venezuelans could defend themselves,” said Mick Wallace, a Member of European Parliament for Ireland South.
Representatives for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Opposition Leader Juan Guaido are meeting in Barbados for peace talks, but the EU has already threatened that there could be even more sanctions if there are no “concrete results” from this week’s negotiations.
However, Guaido welcomed the new sanctions, and claimed they are evidence that the world “has respect” for the current political climate in Venezuela.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also visiting several Latin American countries this week, and Venezuela is on his list of topics to discuss, which raises concerns that the US will ramp up pressure on the country, as officials continue to claim that “all options are on the table.”