While people in Venezuela struggle to eat, journalists have discovered that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s administration managed to scrounge up $500,000 to donate to President Trump’s inauguration, according to ABC News. Venezuela’s economy has been in a free-fall for more than a year and recent reports show that the average Venezuelan has lost 19 pounds over the last year because of lack of food. The country is dealing with triple-digit inflation and violent protests calling for the overthrow of a government many are calling a dictatorship.
The donation came at a time when Maduro was accusing the U.S. government of attempting to overthrow him. According to documents released April 19 by the Federal Elections Committee, Citgo, a U.S.-based subsidiary of the Venezuelan state-owned PDVSA, donated $500,000 on Dec. 22, 2016. It seems like the donation hasn’t been enough to sway favor with the Trump administration as they have joined in on the growing international pressure on Venezuela to stop violently suppressing protesters and to allow open and fair elections.
“We call again upon the Government of Venezuela to fulfill the commitments it made as part of the Vatican-backed Dialogue process last Fall: to hold prompt elections; to respect the constitution and the National Assembly; to provide for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners; and, to tend to the humanitarian needs of the Venezuelan people,” reads a statement from the U.S. Department of State. “We echo the joint call made April 17 by 11 Latin American governments on the government of Venezuela to immediately take these steps to permit a prompt solution to the grave crisis affecting all Venezuelans, and increasingly, the region.”