U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
Statement by Heather Nauert, Spokesperson
December 13, 2017
The United States stands with the Venezuelan people, and supports their efforts to resolve the economic, political, and humanitarian crises facing their country. We remain deeply concerned that the Venezuelan people are experiencing dire humanitarian conditions, to include lack of access to affordable food and vital medicine, medical supplies, malnutrition, and a rise in malaria cases, among other harsh realities.
The United States maintains a stockpile of emergency relief supplies in the region and stands ready to provide emergency food assistance, including food and nutrition commodities or assistance, to affected populations. These provisions could be made available immediately, if only the government of Venezuela would accept international humanitarian assistance. We repeat our call on the Maduro regime to stop denying the needs of its people and to allow aid from the international community to reach them.
U.S. sanctions allow U.S. persons to provide food, medicine, and other humanitarian assistance to the Venezuelan people. U.S. sanctions are not directed at the people of Venezuela.
Sanctions need not be permanent. Our sanctions can be adjusted for those who support Venezuela’s return to a democratic and constitutional path. However, additional measures remain under active consideration.
If members of the Maduro regime wish to see U.S. government sanctions lifted, they must act to restore democracy and constitutional order in Venezuela. The future of U.S. sanctions rests on the decisions and actions of the Maduro regime.