On February 6, 2023, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Turkey and Syria. Just a day later, a team of 25 Venezuelan specialists arrived in Syria.
The Venezuelan ambassador Jose Gregorio Biomorji welcomed the members of the Simon Bolivar Humanitarian Task Force in Damascus. Luis Diaz-Curvelo, the head of the Humanitarian Aid Mission, announced that Venezuela had provided 12 tons of medicine, food, and drinking water for the Syrian citizens.
Ambassador Biomorji said, “We are here to help the Syrian people deal with the aftermath of the earthquake. We are with them in these difficult circumstances, despite all the sanctions imposed on our countries.”
The Simon Bolivar Humanitarian Task Force is comprised of a seismologist, experts in rescue, first aid, firefighting, and civil protection, all with prior experience in relief operations. Luis Colia, a representative from the Interior Ministry of Venezuela, noted that the team is accompanied by dogs trained to detect bodies and individuals buried beneath debris.
Venezuela defies sanctions on Syria
However, Venezuela is among very few nations who has sent humanitarian aid. Venezuela’s government is standing up for Syria, and it is doing so despite the US’s efforts to isolate the Middle Eastern country.
Since 1979, Syria has faced increasingly stringent US sanctions. They have only grown worse since the passing of the June 2020 Caesar Act. This act allows for the prohibitions and financial sanctions of both Syrian and foreign entities that are involved in business with the Assad government. The EU has applied similar measures.
The sanctions have been harshly criticized for hindering the access of medical equipment and spare parts to hospitals, both public and private, that could provide improved medical care to countless Syrians.
The UN Refugee Agency has said that the earthquake in north western Syria has affected 10.9 million people and that urgent necessities such as food, shelter, supplies, and medications must be provided. Almost 50,000 people have already lost their lives in Turkey-Syria earthquake. But, heartless Washington still hasn’t removed sanctions.
A lesson of bravery and kindness
The move by Venezuela shows that it is willing to take bold steps to stand up for its allies, and it is not afraid to challenge the US when it believes that its policies are wrong.
🇻🇪🇹🇷🇸🇾 Venezuela sends humanitarian support to Turkey and Syria in the form of medicine, food, and brigade members for rescue work and calls on the world to raise its voice and demand the immediate lifting of the sanctions on Syria.pic.twitter.com/MkBUIS61ZM
— Kawsachun News (@KawsachunNews) February 8, 2023
Venezuela’s Nicholas Maduro has shown how to take a stand against US. Despite US sanctions, Venezuela has sent Syria loads of humanitarian aid.
Syria has been relentlessly isolated by US. Sanctions restrict countries around the world to send humanitarian aid to Syria.
But, Maduro’s Venezuela is a lesson to the world. A lesson of kindness and courage. A lesson which not only shows how small countries can stand up against US’ hegemony. But also shows how we all can help those in need.