Sat, Feb 16, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan pledges US$500,000 in aid to Venezuela

AMBIGUOUS STANCE:The move attracted attention, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has refused to take a position on the legitimacy of the country’s presidency

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Representative to the US Stanley Kao announces that Taiwan is to donate US$500,000 in humanitarian aid to Venezuela at the Global Conference on the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela in Washington on Thursday.

Photo courtesy of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US

Taiwan has pledged a donation of US$500,000 in humanitarian aid to Venezuela, a move seen as a show of support for Venezuelan National Assembly President Juan Guaido, who has declared himself interim president.

Representative to the US Stanley Kao (高碩泰) on Thursday announced the donation at the Organization of American States’ Global Conference on the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela in Washington.

“Taiwan of course is very proud to be amongst the first Asian countries that is committed to joining like-minded states in providing humanitarian assistance to Venezuela during this very tough and transitional process,” Kao said in his speech.

Taiwan sees the promise of a free and democratic Venezuela where human rights, the rule of law and economic prosperity have the opportunity to flourish, Kao said.

“Taiwan is always willing and available to step up when being called upon to address global and regional challenges,” he said. “Taiwan will be there as a true friend and credible partner as we restore the great promise that is the future of Venezuela.”

He also called on Taiwanese non-governmental organizations and private sector actors operating in the region to seek areas where they could be of further assistance.

Kao was the only representative of an Asian country to make a speech at the conference, which was also attended by US Special Envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams and senior officials from more than 60 other countries, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US said.

Venezuela has plunged into a deep political crisis since Guaido declared himself the interim president late last month.

Guaido is recognized by many Latin American countries, most EU countries and the US, and has called for humanitarian aid to be allowed into Venezuela to help people affected by the political turmoil and shortages of basic necessities.

On Thursday, Guaido tweeted that Venezuela had managed to raise more than US$100 million at the conference for food and medicine.

Taiwan’s pledge attracted attention yesterday, as the government had been seen as reluctant to take a clear position on the Venezuelan crisis.

When asked whether the gesture constituted an expression of support for Guaido, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not give a direct answer, saying only that the donation demonstrated Taiwan’s determination to forge cooperation with like-minded countries and increase its international participation.

Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Twitter that Taiwan wants to help bring back democracy, stability and prosperity in Venezuela.

“The people deserve a brighter future,” he said.


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