U.S. enters ‘milestone’ agreement with Venezuela’s legitimate government

Two men holding up signed agreements (© Luis Alonso Lugo/AP Images)
USAID Administrator Mark Green, left, and Venezuela's ambassador to the United States Carlos Vecchio in Washington on October 8. (© Luis Alonso Lugo/AP Images)

USAID Administrator Mark Green and Venezuela’s ambassador to the U.S. on October 8 signed an agreement to strengthen U.S. support for the South American country’s legitimate government, led by interim President Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly.

USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development, committed a further $98 million for Venezuelans inside Venezuela. The amount includes a portion of the funding that Green announced at the United Nations General Assembly in September. USAID’s total development assistance for the country now stands at $116 million.

“The bilateral agreement we are signing today formalizes our partnership with interim President Guaidó and his administration,” Green said. “Theirs is the only government that represents the interests of the Venezuelan people, and we are very proud to work alongside them.”

Green called the agreement “another important milestone in the partnership between our two countries.”

Ambassador Carlos Vecchio signed the Development Objective Agreement on behalf of Guaidó. Also present were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cuba and Venezuela Carrie Filipetti and USAID Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean John Barsa.

The new funding will build upon existing U.S. support for local human rights defenders, civil society organizations, independent media, and electoral oversight as well as helping to repair the country’s devastated health care system.

The United States continues to support the National Assembly and Venezuelan people in their efforts to restore democracy and prosperity and address the Maduro-made humanitarian crisis that has driven 4.5 million Venezuelans to flee the country and which represents a threat to the wider region’s stability and prosperity.

Since the start of the crisis, the United States has provided $568 million in humanitarian and development assistance to Venezuela and to countries throughout the region.