USAID Admits it has Given $467 Million to the Venezuelan Opposition Since 2017

 January 17, 2020

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided nearly $467 million in “humanitarian aid” to the Venezuelan opposition since 2017, the agency acknowledges on its official website.

In addition, it details that following an agreement reached in October 2019, USAID has committed $128 million to “help” self-appointed presdent Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly in contempt “to continue developing plans to recover the economy and implement social services during a transition to democracy.”

In the document, published in December, the U.S. agency also acknowledged having allocated funds for “compensation, travel costs and other expenses for some technical advisors of the National Assembly and the interim administration of Guaidó through assistance funds.”

The report, titled “USAID in Venezuela,” clarifies that the agency “does not transfer funds” directly to the “administration of Guaidó,” but rather that “they are granted competitively to private organizations through contracts, donations, or cooperation agreements. However, the destination of the resources is not detailed.

In September last year USAID reported that it would provide $52 million to support the opposition leader, in order to “restore democratic governance” in the South American country.

The funds never appeared

On Nov. 29, 2019, former Guaidó-appointed ambassador to Colombia Humberto Calderón Berti accused Guaidó’s “entourage” of irregularities in the management of humanitarian aid funds. “The Colombian authorities gave me the alert and showed me documents where there was talk of prostitutes, liquor, mismanagement of resources, double billing, fictitious billing,” he said.

Likewise, in December the website revealed the alleged participation of eleven opposition parliamentarians in a “corruption plot to grant indulgences” to businessmen related to food imports, including three from the Guaidó’s political party, Voluntad Popular.

These mutual accusations of corruption and opacity in the management of resources were what contributed to accelerate the fracture within the opposition ranks, which resulted in the new legislative conflict in Venezuela, where two sectors of anti-chavism are claiming the presidency of the Parliament.

For his part, the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, has stated that Guaidó “handles millions of dollars” of the funds blocked by the United States to Venezuela, which are used by the opposition parliamentarian to promote his “terrorist” plans in the country.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – Cuba, translation, North America bureau