World Bank to be ‘deeply involved’ in Venezuelan crisis

Washington DC [USA]: Expressing “deep concerns” over the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, the World Bank on Thursday (local time) said that the top funding body is set to be “deeply involved” in the matters concerning the Latin American nation, but warned that the “situation is still troublesome on the ground”.

Speaking at a press conference on the opening day of the joint World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings, newly appointed World Bank Group president David Malpass said that any decision to intervene in Venezuela or recognise self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido as the legitimate head of state would be left to the top funding body’s stakeholders, Al Jazeera reported.

Echoing similar sentiments, IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said that it was up to the World Bank members “to indicate which authority they are recognising diplomatically”.

Venezuela is currently in the throes of a political and economic crisis, which is worsened by hyperinflation, blackouts, and an acute shortage of water and medicines.

In January, Guaido had proclaimed himself as the President of Venezuela, as protests calling for President Nicolas Maduro’s ouster shook the Latin American nation. The US immediately supported Guaido, asking other nations to back the self-proclaimed President.

Several countries called for Maduro to step down or hold fresh elections, as they largely view the elections which brought the 56-year-old leader to power as rigged. In response, Washington has slapped sanctions on Caracas in a number of sectors.

Reiterating his stance, US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday had urged the United Nations to globally recognise Guaido as the legitimate President of Venezuela.

Launching a scathing attack on Maduro’s regime, Pence had said that Venezuela, under him, is a “failed state, and failed states know no boundaries”.

The Venezuelan military continues to back Maduro, even though countries like US, UK, France, Japan, amongst others, recognise Guaido as the interim President.

However, China, Russia, and other countries have slammed international interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs, throwing their weight behind Maduro.