With Guaido’s campaign to oust Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro failing to gain traction in the last several months, Washington decided to boost his stalled effort with $41.9 million diverted from humanitarian aid to Central America, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing officials and an internal memo circulated by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
A congressional aide, with the knowledge of the issue, told the Times that “what they are doing is essentially taking the money that would help poor Central American children and giving it to pay the salaries of Guaido and his officials and employees.”
USAID says the money injection is “necessary due to unforeseen events and exceptional circumstances.”
The cash would go towards covering Guaido’s travel expenses, including the cost of the globetrotting opposition politician’s air travel, as well as that of his political allies. The memo, as cited by the Times, says that part of the sum would be used to pay Guaido and his entourage’s salaries, as well as to provide the opposition with “good governance” training, technical support and propaganda.
The memo, which notifies the House of Representatives of the administration’s plans to repurpose some $41 million of about $370 million in aid it permanently diverted from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, is the first step in the process of getting it to Guaido.
In March, the US cut all aid to the three Northern Triangle nations, accusing them of failing to stop the flow of illegal migrants to the US. “Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing,” US President Donald Trump tweeted at the time. While the US chastises the impoverished nations for not being able to stop the influx of migrants to the US border, Washington itself has been blamed for leaving the economies of these countries in shambles by pursuing its own political and economic interests in the region.