Venezuela wants to pay for vaccines with oil
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday proposed that his country pay for coronavirus vaccines with oil.
Maduro offered the proposal at a news conference, explaining that he hoped to use oil revenue to pay for vaccines through the World Health Organization’s COVAX mechanism, which gives vaccine access to poorer countries.
“Venezuela has the oil vessels and has the customers who will buy our oil,” said Maduro, according to a report by Reuters. “We are ready and prepared for oil for vaccines, but we will not beg anyone.”
Venezuela has received shipments of vaccine doses from allies Russia and China. The Venezuelan government has been in talks with the Pan American Health Organization for access of the vaccine through COVAX, but last week Venezuela said it will not accept the AstraZeneca PLC vaccine which is disturbed by COVAX, Reuters reported.
The AstraZeneca vaccine saw its use suspended in a number of European countries earlier this month after reports linking it to blood clots in some patients. But health authorities in Europe have since vouched for its safe use.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Venezuela has been struggling economically the last decade with plummeting oil sales as the U.S. government has imposed sanctions on it.