Brazilian union leaders traveled to Caracas to deliver 1,000 tonnes of spare parts to Siderúrgica do Orinoco (Sidor), a Venezuelan state-owned company that donated 130,000 liters of oxygen to the city of Manaus, in January this year.
The pieces were bought with money raised in a campaign launched in June by the union centrals. Due to the economic blockade imposed by the United States since 2015, Venezuela has a series of difficulties in managing to maintain the infrastructure of its oil, steel and petrochemical industries. The country has reduced its oil production by 60% in the last six years, reflecting the impacts of the blockade on structures.
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With Sidor it is no different. The state-owned company headquartered in the state of Bolívar, bordering Brazil, lost around 40% of its production capacity due to the paralysis of some machines and vehicles.
Despite the difficulties, when the state of Amazonas went through the biggest hospital oxygen supply crisis to treat patients with covid-19, Sidor workers sent trucks with 130 thousand liters of oxygen to Manaus.
The gesture was not even thanked by the Brazilian government, which also did not cooperate with the transport of oxygen, even with Sidor offering to maintain the supply as long as necessary.
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The national president of the CUT, Sérgio Nobre stated that the main objective of the trip “is to repay the solidarity of Venezuelan workers.”
“The campaign and the donation of inputs to Venezuela is also an opportunity to denounce to Latin America, once again, this irresponsible economic blockade suffered by the country and also the criminal incompetence of the Brazilian government in conducting the country in this pandemic”, declared Nobre.
Venezuela has about 30 million inhabitants and accumulates 413,000 cases and 4,965 died by covid-19, according to official data. While only the Amazon accumulates 428,000 infections and 13,776 deaths from the disease. The governor of Manaus, Wilson Lima (PSC), was indicted by the CPI of Covid.
Edition: Arturo Hartmann