Bolivian President Evo Morales protested because the US will send a humanitarian aid ship to Colombia, a measure announced by the governments of those two countries over the weekend.
According to President Evo Morales, the US Government’s shipment of the ship USNS Comfort is a “covert invasion” of the US government into the Latin American territory. Morales does not like the idea of this ship because he says it has the capacity to transport helicopters of war “and it is a” threat against Venezuela, “he said in his Twitter account.
The protest came after United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that the government of his country is “evaluating the possibility of sending a hospital ship” to serve the Venezuelan refugees and help alleviate the “overburdened system” of health “Colombian.
Mattis, who was visiting Colombia last Friday and met there with President Ivan Duque, said it was a humanitarian mission and ruled out sending troops.
“It is an absolutely humanitarian mission. We do not send soldiers, we send doctors. It is an effort to deal with the human cost of Maduro and his regime, which is increasingly isolated, “said Mattis last Friday.
The Secretary of Defense emphasized that the ship will not touch Venezuelan waters and did not give details on when the ship would arrive exactly to Colombia, or if it will arrive across the Atlantic or Colombian Pacific.
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But for Morales, the arrival of the ship represents a threat to his allied country and said that the best aid is “to respect the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people and lift the economic blockade” that the United States. has “unfairly” imposed on Venezuela.
Mattis stressed that the migratory crisis of Venezuelans has a “destabilizing impact” in the region and that the immigration of thousands of citizens to various countries of the world has “an enormous cost”.
Only in Colombia, the government estimates that there are close to one million Venezuelans who have left their country fleeing the crisis. Of those, just under 400,000 were in a regular situation as of July this year.
Many immigrants arrive in Colombia seeking assistance in health: since 2015 the number of emergency care has skyrocketed in Colombia. During the first semester of 2018, 47,892 of these cases were registered, a figure that practically doubled the total of 2017: 24,727. But, if we compare this last figure with that of 2016, we see that the increase was more than 20,400 cases: from 4,258 visits to 24,727, according to figures from Migración Colombia of July 2018.
Mattis added that the United States has given more than 56 million dollars to help the Venezuelan refugees.
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What does the boat do?
The USNS Comfort is a United States ship whose main objective is proportional to the US Military. mobile medical facilities with surgery services, “flexible, capable and adaptable” to “withstand the expeditionary war,” says the page of the Department of Defense of the United States.
And the second mission is to provide complete hospital services to support humanitarian and relief operations in the United States around the world, the government.
This ship assisted the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management System, FEMA, in the sanitary operations of Hurricane Maria, in Puerto Rico, last year.
For the mission of Puerto Rico, more than 800 staff members were boarded for humanitarian work. Among them “medical and support personnel of the United States Navy, consisting of 22 commandos, as well as more than 70 sailors of the public administration,” says the website.
“It has one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States and is equipped with four x-ray machines, a CAT scan unit, a dentistry room, an optometry lens lab, a physiotherapy center, an angiography room and two oxygen rooms, “says the Navy.
In 2007, this ship travelled to Nicaragua to provide free medical assistance to thousands of people from that country, as part of a four-month work of humanitarian assistance in more than a dozen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, adds the Navy. Its mission was to serve 85,000 patients in communities with “limited access to health services” in Latin America and the Caribbean.
And before arriving in Nicaragua that year, he had treated 55,000 patients in Belize, Guatemala and Panama, adds the institution.
Source: CNN Espanol