China sent its latest shipment of humanitarian aid to Venezuela on Monday, to be controlled by the regime of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro and distributed only to his allies.
A Boeing 747 arrived in the capital of Caracas on Monday carrying 71 tons of medicine and surgical equipment. China claims handing Maduro the aid, despite him not being the legal president of Venezuela, will help alleviate the country’s humanitarian crisis. It may help ease the growing pressure on Maduro to step down and pave the way for a democratic transition.
According to the Chinese state media outlet China Daily, the Chinese Ambassador to Venezuela Li Baorong said that “the medical assistance represents the friendship of the Chinese people to the Venezuelan people.”
Li also appeared to blame Venezuela’s dire predicament on U.S. sanctions imposed on high-ranking members of Maduro’s illegal regime, as he reportedly “voiced the hope that this shipment of medical aid will help alleviate the impact of sanctions on the lives of the Venezuelan people.”
“China believes that the Venezuelan people are capable of achieving peace and stable development,” Li said, adding that “China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in Venezuela and provide support and assistance to the South American country within its capacity.”
The shipment is now China’s second aid contribution to the country, having sent 65 tonnes of medicines in March. They have also previously sent a hospital ship, despite widespread concerns about negligence in the country’s healthcare industry.
While Venezuelan Health Minister Carlos Alvarado reportedly “expressed gratitude” to the Chinese for the shipment, the socialist regime denies the existence of any humanitarian crisis. Maduro declared at United Nations last year that the country was “stronger than ever.”
The U.S. and other regional contributors have repeatedly tried to send millions’ worth in humanitarian aid into the country, only for its passage to be blocked by the military on orders from the regime. Opposition activists, led by legitimate President Juan Guaidó, successfully managed to move some of the aid into the country, although most of it still only remain accessible to those arriving at border towns in Brazil and Colombia.
As well as accepting aid shipments from China, the government has also accepted shipments from Russia, another crucial international ally to Maduro. In February, the Kremlin reportedly sent 300 tons of aid to Venezuela and has recently sent military personnel aimed at beefing up Maduro’s personnel as his personal authority continues to wane.