On Thursday, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro announced that his country and the World Food Program (WFP) signed a new cooperation agreement.
“We sign the commitment to cooperate with this prestigious international entity, with which we have achieved important achievements and we are going for more,” Maduro said after a meeting with WFP Director David Beasley. Previously, in April, the Venezuelan president announced the signing of a first cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening 18 food systems in the country.
Since at least 2015, the United States has tried to overthrow the Bolivarian revolution through actions such as the establishment of sanctions on Venezuelan companies, the blocking of bank accounts and assets owned by this nation abroad, or the declaration of Venezuela as a “threat” to the U.S. security.
As a result of this economic harassment, the Venezuelan economy has suffered billionaire losses, which have been reflected in trends towards reduced production and increased inflation. These two processes have affected the national agri-food system.
In a 2019 interview with Democracy Now, Jeffrey Sachs, an economics professor at Columbia University, highlighted the disastrous effects of the U.S. blockade.
“It started with sanctions in 2017 that prevented, essentially, the country from accessing international capital markets and the oil company from restructuring its loans. That put Venezuela into hyperinflation,” he explained.
“The earnings that are used to buy food and medicine collapsed. That’s when the social, humanitarian crisis went spiralling out of control,” Sachs said, adding that the economic crisis was “brought on by the U.S. deliberately, creating massive, massive suffering… And it’s very cruel because it’s punishing 30 million people.”