IMF has not delivered COVID-19 funds amid dispute, Venezuela says

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Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not yet delivered funds under a program to help countries battle the COVID-19 pandemic, amid a dispute over the government’s legitimacy, Reuters reported.

In August, the IMF authorized Venezuela to receive around $5 billion in Special Drawing Rights (SDR) as part of a $650 billion global effort to boost liquidity for the world’s most vulnerable countries, but said it could not use them because of questions about whether President Nicolas Maduro or opposition leader Juan Guaido was the rightful leader.

Guaido, recognized by the United States and several Latin American countries as Venezuela’s president, said last month the two sides would discuss access to the SDRs at a negotiation process taking place in Mexico City, part of an internationally-mediated effort to resolve the country’s protracted political crisis.

Rodriguez said at the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development that the country had not yet received the funds, blaming a U.S. “veto.”

The United States is the IMF’s largest shareholder.

“Venezuela reiterates its denunciation that the IMF refuses to deliver our people the $5 billion our country is owed to fight the pandemic,” Rodriguez said.

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