U.S. and China Come to Venezuela’s Aid

Venezuela remains in crisis mode.

Of all the foreign reserve cash it’s been using through the years to get out of debt and fund essential programs, Venezuela only has $10.5 billion left.

According to CNN Money, Venezuela had roughly $20 billion in 2015, and although it’s difficult to determine exactly when the country will run out of funds, it’s obvious that time is approaching. In addition to the debiting funds, the country isn’t able to succinctly afford enough food, medication, and essential supplies for its citizens.

“The question is: ‘Where is the floor?'” said Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America fixed income strategy at Nomura Holdings. “If oil prices stagnate and foreign reserves reach zero, then the clock is going to start on a default.”

Despite Venezuela’s struggles, thanks to a few recent deals with the United States and China, more is being done to help.

Unlike the U.S., where there are 7.8 million production employees working in construction, Venezuela is in need of serious labor assistance. VenezuelaAnalysis reports that Venezuela and China ratified 22 new agreements totaling $2.7 billion in February to aid Venezuela and promote cooperation between the two nations.

New provisions will provide financial assistance in Venezuela for heavy production machinery, major infrastructure projects, cargo transport, and vital imports like automobiles and computers.

“China and Venezuela see each other as sister nations with a common destiny of peace, of cooperation, and mutual development,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

On March 2, 2017, the Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing titled, “Venezuela: Options for U.S. Policy.”

In addition to a high international debt, chronic illnesses have become a major issue across Venezuela as well. Roughly 3% of the entire global burden of disease can be attributed to indoor air pollution, but poor environmental habits in Venezuela are leading to many more health concerns.

According to the Latin American Herald Tribune, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution expressing its concern about the rapidly declining quality of life in Venezuela, as well as economic, social, and humanitarian crises.

“Our resolution sends a clear signal to Mr. Maduro that he must urgently allow for international humanitarian relief to protect and save Venezuelan lives,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee. “We also call on the Venezuelan government to take overdue steps to address corruption and criminality, ensure human rights, free political prisoners, and restore respect for its own Constitution.”

“Venezuela is headed for catastrophe,” added U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “Today, the United States stands with the people of Venezuela, who continue to pay the price of their government’s obstinate refusal to change course.”