U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green's Remarks in Cucuta, Colombia

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim


For Immediate Release

Saturday, February 16, 2019
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov


ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Thank you very much. As we just saw, the latest shipment of U.S. humanitarian aid has now arrived here on the Colombian border with Venezuela.

To be very clear, this is not the first shipment, nor will it be the last shipment, not only from the United States, but we know that many other countries are joining as well.

The aid that you see behind us comes at the request of Interim President Juan Guaidó and in coordination with the Government of Colombia.

Just a few days ago, I had the honor of meeting with President Iván Duque in Washington. There, we reaffirmed our continued cooperation on the delivery of life-saving humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of Venezuela.

As we all know, this assistance comes at an urgent time. The humanitarian need in Venezuela is vast, and it is growing each and every day.

Children are going hungry, and nearly every hospital in Venezuela is experiencing serious medicine shortages.

I was here six months ago. Six months later, I hear more and more stories about Venezuelans having to walk many, many hours to cross the border to get some help with medicine, to get some help with food.

We are here because this is now a regional crisis. Today, we are standing on the front lines of one of the largest displacements of people in the history of Latin America.

Over 3 million Venezuelans have fled their home country. As we would say, they are voting with their feet, and they are fleeing Maduro and his tyranny.

This crisis is not merely spilling into Colombia, but also into Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and even the Caribbean.

Regrettably, the crisis Venezuelans are fleeing is man-made and regime-driven. It is the result of continued political mismanagement and corruption by Maduro.

As long as the Maduro regime and his cronies plague Venezuela with economic mismanagement and corruption, we all know this humanitarian crisis will continue.

Just a few hours ago, Vice President Pence spoke in Munich at the Munich Security Conference. He said, "The struggle in Venezuela is between dictatorship and democracy. Nicolas Maduro is a dictator with no legitimate claim to power, and Maduro must go."

My message today is that the United States will continue to stand with the people of Venezuela. The aid being unloaded right now brings critical nutrition products and hygiene supplies to help improve the lives of tens of thousands of Venezuelans. We have also sent high-energy biscuits from Bogota. Those arrived yesterday in Cúcuta.

This aid is in addition to the relief supplies airlifted last week, and the more than 140 million U.S. dollars that the U.S. has already provided to support this crisis.

The United States will also continue to stand in solidarity with Interim President Guaidó and those in Venezuela who seek a government that represents their interests and is responsive to their needs.

And finally, to Interim President Guaidó, who I know is listening, we proudly stand with you and the people of Venezuela who are yearning for freedom and a true democracy. We call on Venezuelan security forces to let this life-saving aid in immediately.

Ahora, muchas gracias