USAID is an arm of the US State Department and has been involved in a number of scandals in recent years which have led to its expulsion from Russia for political meddling and Bolivia for conspiracy.
'The International Red Cross has declined to participate in Washington’s controversial humanitarian aid plan to Venezuela, it was announced this weekend.
“We will not be participating in what is, for us, not humanitarian aid,” stated Colombia’s International Red Cross (ICRC) spokesperson, Christoph Harnisch.
The assistance, which is being coordinated by Venezuela’s self-proclaimed president, Juan Guaido, and the US Agency for International Development(USAID), is reportedly comprised of US $20 million worth of medical, food, and personal hygiene supplies which are currently being warehoused in the Colombian border city of Cucuta. The Venezuelan government has denied USAID personnel entry into the country, claiming that the aid is being used as a cover for a foreign intervention to install Guaido in Miraflores presidential palace.
Harnisch also raised concerns about the aid being instrumentalized for political ends, calling on parties to have “respect for the term ‘humanitarian.’” Last week, ICRC Director of Global Operations Domink Stillhart had likewise told reporters that he considered the aid to have a “political tone”.
The Red Cross currently provides medical assistance to a number of Venezuelan hospitals under pre-existing and recently expanded international agreements with Maduro’s government.
On Wednesday, ICRC President Peter Maurer told reporters that the body will be doubling its budget to assist the Venezuelan government in countering the effects of the deep economic crisis.
“Our focus is really to, on the one side increase our response to Venezuelans, and on the other hand to keep away from the political controversy and political divisions which are characteristic to the crisis in Venezuela,” Maurer told press in Geneva.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has likewise raised objections to Washington’s “politicised” aid plan.
“Humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military or other objectives,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York last Wednesday.'
Read more: Red Cross, UN Slam Denounce Use of ‘Politicized’ Humanitarian Aid to Venezuela