USAID Administrator Mark Green disclosed Thursday that his agency is preparing for the resignation of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and is closely monitoring the Latin American country alongside other US government agencies, including the Commerce Department and the Pentagon. Green said that USAID will be tasked with the deployment of "healthcare" across the country immediately after Maduro steps down.
“We’re always thinking through what happens the day after — what will be necessary,” Green said in an interview with McClatchy.
Speaking in the interview, Green accused Maduro’s administration of having “not a single hospital in the country being properly equipped.” He claimed that Caracas is struggling to keep medicine and vaccines at their proper storage temperature due to repeated blackouts. Maduro’s government regularly blames the political opposition for sabotaging the power grid, although the opposition insists that the derelict grid collapses on its own due to decades of neglect.
“You have a healthcare system in Venezuela — it’s always hard to get accurate fixes — but you hear talk in terms of not a single hospital in the country being properly equipped. So when the day comes, I mean, those are things that will have to take place,” the administrator said.
US-imposed sanctions on oil exports have cut the Maduro administration of its primary source of revenue, complicating matters.
In August, Caracas condemned the US executive order freezing all property of the Venezuelan government within the jurisdiction of the United States, claiming that it “intends to formalize the criminal economic, financial and commercial blockade against Venezuelans.”
Earlier this year, USAID transported what was described as humanitarian aid to Colombia in US military cargo planes, which the Venezuelan opposition were accused of later using to stage a false flag attack. Videos showing masked men burning aid trucks circulated online, but were debunked by Maduro.
Venezuela has been in a long-term political and humanitarian crisis that was exacerbated after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself “interim president of Venezuela,” and initiated a nationwide campaign of ramping up civil unrest.
Guaido called for the Armed Forces to join his cause to stage a coup d’etat in Caracas, but failed. Maduro, recognized as the only leader of Venezuela by Russia, China, Turkey and other nations, remains in power. The United States and its allies continue to recognize Guaido as acting president of Venezuela.