CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) — Venezuela on Wednesday offered US$5 million worth of aid for people affected by hurricane Harvey in the United States, calling it a gesture of “solidarity” despite recent US sanctions against Caracas.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said funds would be made available from Citgo, the US subsidiary of Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA.
Washington has slapped sanctions on PDVSA, part of a series of measures against Venezuela and its President Nicolas Maduro over his handling of a deadly political crisis.
Arreaza cited a previous program under which Venezuela provided heating fuel to victims of the deadly hurricane Katrina in 2005.
“On the basis of that precedent, there will be direct support from Citgo, a contribution of up to $5 million to support families affected in Houston and Corpus Christi,” Texas, he said on television.
“This is an expression of solidarity by Venezuela, beyond any political differences we have, in the face of a devastating phenomenon.”
He also proposed that Citgo use some of its revenues to help rebuild homes damaged by the hurricane.
Venezuela is suffering an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food and medicine.
International powers accuse Maduro of dismantling democracy by taking over state institutions in order to resist opposition pressure for him to quit.