U.N. Secretary General has finally found his voice on Venezuela. Now he must find the backbone to get aid to its suffering people

Antonio Guterres

Until now, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres had been shamelessly silent about Venezuela, refusing to even consider a full-scale U.N. response to the country’s humanitarian crisis.

But that may be changing.

On April 10, for the first time, Guterres stated in a tweet that, “7 million people in Venezuela need humanitarian assistance. We are working to expand our assistance, in line with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.”

The statement was in stark contrast with Guterres’ previous comments, which ignored the depth of Venezuela’s tragedy. Guterres had met with the Venezuelan dictatorship’s foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, at least three times in recent weeks and largely played along with Arreaza’s efforts to minimize the crisis.

But, as it became clear in a newly released 71-page joint report by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Human Rights Watch advocacy group, the situation in Venezuela not only is creating a regional refugee crisis, it also is putting a large number of lives at risk…..

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