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US unfreezes Venezualan assets to help opposition fight COVID-19 | Venezuela News

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The United States has granted access to millions of dollars of frozen Venezuelan government assets to support the opposition in its efforts to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. 

The US Treasury Department approved the release of the funds, the opposition said in a statement on Thursday, without specifying the total amount.

The statement said part of the released funds would go to pay some 62,000 health workers $300 each.

During a live appearance on Twitter on Thursday night, opposition leader Juan Guaido said health workers could register accounts to receive payments of $100 a month starting Monday. Healthcare workers in Venezuela can earn as little as $5 a month.

Guaido first announced the additional support for healthcare workers four months ago, but distribution required a permit from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), as the frozen funds were held by the New York Federal Reserve.

US President Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions on Venezuela’s state-run oil company, its key foreign partners and customers since it first imposed measures against the PDVSA in early 2019, seeking to overthrow left-leaning President Nicolas Maduro after a 2018 re-election considered a sham by most Western nations.

The Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on more than 150 Venezuelans or connected individuals, and the State Department has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 individuals and their families

Venezuela has been mired in a political impasse since January last year when Guaido proclaimed himself acting president, quickly receiving the support of more than 50 countries, including the US.

In July, the opposition obtained permission to distribute $17m in funds frozen in the US that would be channelled through international health organisations to buy supplies for medical workers.

The license also approves another $4.5m to support Venezuelans at risk of death, an opposition press release said.

The opposition plans to distribute the funds using AirTM, a digital payment platform, but on Thursday, the website was blocked in Venezuela.

“You have to be very bad to block an account for men and women who are giving everything with conviction to protect our people when they are going to receive a bonus,” said Guaido.

The opposition leader added healthcare workers would be sent a manual with the steps to download a virtual private network (VPN) so they could circumvent the restrictions. AirTM also tweeted instructions on how to use a VPN.

Venezuela is suffering economic collapse and its crumbling health system has so far registered 37,567 cases of COVID-19 and 311 deaths, although experts say the number is likely to be higher because of widespread insufficient testing. 

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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