CARACAS, May 25– Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez on Friday blamed the opposition for stopping a bone marrow transplant program that resulted in the death of a child in the country.
The responsibility for the death of a child who stopped receiving medical treatment due to U.S. sanctions falls on the opposition, Rodriguez said Friday on Twitter.
The United States levied sanctions in January on the Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. It prohibited Citgo, PDVSA’s U.S.-based subsidiary, from making payments for oil revenue directly to Venezuela.
Citgo provides funds to health programs that support Venezuelan patients to receive treatment in foreign medical institutions.
The sanctions “caused the death of children who were the beneficiaries of noble health programs,” Rodriguez said.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said on Twitter that “regrettably another Venezuelan child has died waiting for a bone marrow transplant as a result of the U.S. criminal blockade.”
The measures taken by the U.S. government prevented “the transfer of funds to the Italian health institutions with which PDVSA dealt to attend these urgent cases,” Arreaza said.
The death of the child was confirmed Thursday by Larry Devoe, executive secretary of Venezuela’s National Council of Human Rights.
“More than 500 patients were treated by the PDVSA-Citgo bone marrow transplant program before it was impacted by the aggressive economic measures adopted by the Trump administration,” Devoe said. – XINHUA