Venezuela’s Maduro orders EU envoy to leave the country

UNTV News   •   June 30, 2020   •   563

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday (June 29) ordered the European Union envoy to leave the country, hours after the EU announced sanctions against several officials loyal to the socialist leader.

The EU subjected 11 officials to financial sanctions, citing their actions against the democratic functioning of Venezuela’s National Assembly.

The European bloc earlier this month said a decision by the South American nation’s Supreme Court in May to ratify an ally of Maduro as president of the National Assembly was illegitimate. Opposition leader Juan Guaido was the rightful congressional president following his election by the majority of members in January, not the court-approved Luis Parra, the EU said.

Parra was among those named in Monday’s sanctions, along with Franklyn Duarte and Jose Gregorio Noriega, who were named as vice-presidents of the assembly in the May court ruling.

Maduro gave the EU envoy, Isabel Brilhante Pedrosa, 72 hours to leave the country after the sanctions were announced.

“A plane can be loaned to her to leave,” he said during an appearance on Venezuelan state TV.

Maduro also said his government was reserving diplomatic action in the case against the Spanish ambassador in Caracas, Jesus Silva, whom he said was “an accomplice of the criminal and terrorist Leopoldo Lopez, as published in the Wall Street Journal, for the plan to assassinate me, to assassinate the country’s top military and political leader.”

Last week, the U.S. newspaper published a report citing sources close to the opposition leader Lopez, indicating that he had come into contact with several security firms for an armed action in Venezuela. (Reuters)

(Production: Efrain Otero, Liamar Ramos)

EU assures PH to receive COVID-19 vaccines amid export restrictions

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The European Union (EU) assured to provide the Philippines with COVID-19 vaccines.

This was after President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that the EU has been holding up AstraZeneca vaccines by imposing export restrictions on various countries.

In a statement, the EU assured that Philippines is not among the countries with exportation restrictions. It also vowed to keep its promise of delivering COVID-19 vaccines to low and middle-income countries.

“The authorization mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines include a wide range of exemptions from prior authorization, to ensure the EU continues to fully honor its commitments to deliver the vaccine to our direct neighborhood and to 92 low and middle-income countries, including the Philippines, covered by the COVAX facility,” the EU said in a statement.

During his public address on Monday (February 1), Duterte said it is easy for the EU to restrict COVID-19 vaccines by imposing new measures, making it difficult for countries like the Philippines to get vaccines.

 “Iyong AstraZeneca, hinostage ng European Union, (AstraZeneca was held hostage by the European Union),” he said.

“We are not really as powerful as the EU, wala tayong connection, wala tayong pera (we don’t have connections, we don’t have money) Duterte added.” AAC

EU provides almost P63-M aid to support victims of Typhoon Rolly

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 5, 2020

The European Union (EU) will provide €1.3 million (almost P63 million) worth of aid to families affected by Typhoon Rolly.

EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, in a statement, said the EU stands in solidarity with the Philippines. The contribution, he added, will support humanitarian aid partners in the Philippines to respond to the pressing needs of those most in need.

“It will not only cover the immediate needs of the most affected populations, but will also help the Filipino people restore their homes and livelihoods so they can get back on their feet as soon as possible,” he said.

Relief aid from the EU includes shelter, food and livelihood assistance, as well as access to clean water and health care.

Typhoon Rolly has affected over 2 million people across five regions in the country with over 500,000 people have been forced to flee their homes. AAC

18 countries issue joint statement supporting WHO; criticize US withdrawal

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020

A total of 18 countries in Europe, the Caribbean, and South America convened a video conference and issued a joint statement on July 10, stating their strong support for the United Nations, especially the World Health Organization (WHO), and criticizing U.S. withdrawal from WHO.

The meeting was initiated by the European Union, France, and Spain. The EU countries participating in the meeting include Germany, Croatia, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden, while the Latin American countries attending the conference are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Dominica.

The 18 countries believed that WHO plays a key role in the global collaborative fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooperation and solidarity are at the core of responding to the pandemic.

The countries jointly support WHO in carrying out coordinated actions, conducting a fair, independent and comprehensive assessment and summarizing the experience of the international community in responding to the pandemic. (Reuters)

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