Washington pledged an additional $98 million in aid to Venezuela, saying the funds will be used to support civil society, human rights organizations and independent media, the Miami Herald writes.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed what it called a “historic bilateral agreement” with representatives of Venezuela’s Juan Guaido administration.
Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s congress, is recognized by the United States and more than 50 other nations as the country’s legitimate interim president. But, President Nicolas Maduro still holds many of the levers of power in the country.
Venezuela’s Ambassador to the United States Carlos Vecchio said this fresh USAID funding would be distributed through international organizations and foundations, “because the dictatorship has destroyed and kidnapped the institutions in charge of the nation’s treasury and comptroller.”
“Our commitment is to guarantee the transparency on the use of public resources and, through legitimate institutions such as the National Assembly, we have already advanced in the process to appoint a Special Comptroller to ensure that transparency, something that Maduro’s corrupt and criminal regime lacks,” Vecchio said in a statement, the Miami Herald adds.
Tuesday’s funding is in addition to the $470 million in humanitarian aid the United States has already committed to Venezuela. USAID noted that the signing of the bilateral agreement “represents a key milestone between the two countries; it is the first step in formalizing USAID development support that will help the legitimate government of Venezuela lead the country forward.”