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Tons of medical supplies sent by Turkey arrive in Venezuela.

Image Credit: aa.com.tr

This week there was a surge in cases in Venezuela. It threatened to overwhelm the already fragile healthcare system. There were blackouts, water, medical equipment and basic supplies shortages which complicated the situation. Turkey signed an agreement last Thursday to send medical supplies to Venezuela to help them fight the recent surge of the virus.

On Saturday, a Turkish military plane full of medical supplies arrived in Venezuela. The supplies includes protective equipment and ventilators. The Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza, said ‘We are receiving more than 15 tons of equipment to fight COVID-19. We are grateful of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish nation and government.’

He added that, ‘The greatness of nations are measured by the capacity of solidarity, not with economic potential, and Turkey set an example in this regard.’

The oil-rich South American country has been crippled by years of US sanctions. The sanctions were imposed due to Maduro’s corruption in gold mining and suppression of 2014 and 2017 protests. United States sanctions do not involve medical supplies, but companies are avoiding dealing with the country, making it difficult for Venezuela to obtain supplies. The economic Venezuelan crisis resulted in hyperinflation (10 million %), nation wide blackouts, food shortages and disease. Unemployment has reached 44%. There is a country-wide starvation. Sources claimed that the average Venezuelan lost 11kg of body weight in the year of 2017. The country’s economy is based on oil, and the US prohibits its oil from being sold, cutting nearly all of its revenue. The government of Nicolas Maduro is not recognized by the US and several other nations.

The supplies included a quote from a famous 13th century poet, Jalaluddin Rumi, which read, ‘After hopelessness, there is so much hope, and after darkness, there is the much brighter sun.’

The total number of cases in Venezuela is 11,191, with 107 deaths.

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