Venezuela calls for debt restructuring in response to Covid pandemic – people’s world
Venezuela calls for a comprehensive restructuring of international debt in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing the UN Heads of State Meeting on International Debt, President Nicolas Maduro said more than 130 million people were pushed into poverty during the pandemic.
A “profound revision of the conditions of indebtedness” was necessary to avoid that they are not used as “a weapon of control, blackmail or domination”, he underlined.
While the International Monetary Fund has expressed support for increased public spending to help economies recover, including the $ 1.9 trillion (£ 1.4 billion) stimulus package from the administration Joe Biden in the United States, Oxfam analysis at the end of last year showed that of 91 IMF loans negotiated with 81 countries after March 2020, 76 (94%) encouraged or demanded measures to austerity such as spending cuts, including cuts in public sector wages, attacks on pensions and even cuts in health spending.
In case studies such as a $ 6.5 billion (£ 4.7 billion) IMF loan to Ecuador, the agency has “advised” the government to cut healthcare spending and unemployment benefits to qualify despite the current virus-related death and unemployment crisis.
The Venezuelan leader also said the UN must act on “unilateral coercive measures” imposed, mainly by the United States, to impose its will on small countries.
The United States directly seized Venezuelan assets held in the United States and confiscated Iranian oil shipments sold to Venezuela. The Bank of England has yet to give up $ 1.8 billion (£ 1.3 billion) of Venezuelan gold it holds.
“We once again demand an end to the economic, financial and trade blockade against our people,” Maduro said.
This article was reposted from Morning Star.