Nicolás Maduro, autocratic ruler of the crisis-ridden country of Venezuela, has recently started offering crude oil as a medium of exchange for corona vaccine. “Venezuela has the oil tankers, it has the customers who buy the oil from us, and it would provide part of its production to guarantee all the vaccines Venezuela needs,” Maduro said, according to a statement. He did not carry out details of the plan.
Venezuela is in a deep political and economic crisis. Due to a lack of foreign exchange and numerous US sanctions, it can hardly import food, medicines and everyday necessities. Even gasoline is in short supply in the country with the largest oil reserves in the world.
At the same time, the pandemic is hitting the country hard. According to official information, around 156,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Venezuela, and more than 1,500 patients have died in connection with Covid-19. The actual numbers are likely to be much higher, not least due to the lack of tests.
In Maduro’s view, the country has only one other way of getting corona vaccines in addition to the barter business: It must achieve that the US and European banks release the funds that have been blocked for the government by sanctions. This could then be used to pay for vaccines for the international Covax initiative.
The AstraZeneca cans offered via Covax – 1.4 to 2.4 million cans were intended for Venezuela – the country has rejected, however. Previously, European countries had stopped vaccinations with the preparation because of health complications related to the vaccination.
[ source link ]
Oil vaccine Venezuelas president proposes swap