A hospital in the Venezuelan city of Barcelona has reported that 14 children have died due to an outbreak a form of dysentery this week, as the political crisis in the country continues with two men claiming to be the country’s rightful president.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro warned against US military intervention last week after US National Security Adviser John Bolton was pictured with a notepad signifying “5,000 thousand troops to Colombia”.
“Those who march with the US flag asking for military intervention in their own country have no idea what they’re asking for,” he said. “They have no idea of the damage they will bring.”
“I want to ask the world for the highest level of solidarity to create a powerful movement against the threats of war from the US.”
Meanwhile Al Jazeera reports a hospital worker, Joses Planes, as saying “three years ago, we stopped receiving gauze and alcohol”.
“There are not enough syringes or serums to hydrate the children,” he added. Dozens of other children have also reportedly been infected but are unable to receive treatment because of the lack of medical supplies.
Maduro has refused to let humanitarian aid donated by the United States into Venezuela via the Colombian border. In a speech to his troops, he said, “we are not beggars” amidst fears of foreign military intervention.
The country was plunged into crisis after opposition politician Juan Guaidó declared himself as the interim president on January 23. US President, Donald Trump recognised Guaidó as the country’s leader shortly after he took an oath before his supporters, alongside other Latin American countries and 20 European countries.
The United Nations has warned against politicising aid in Venezuela. Stéphane Dujarric, a UN spokesperson said, “humanitarian action needs to be independent of political, military or other objectives.”
The UN has estimated that 3 million Venezuelans have fled the economically devastated country since 2015.