On the Venezuela situation, we have been closely following the situation there. I know that the economic situation is very difficult, and there have been many protests expressed by the people, not only by political parties. Again, all these issues should be very seriously listened to, the voices of the people, and these issues should be addressed very seriously as soon as possible, respecting the freedom of assembly and freedom of the media. This is my comment on this, see: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/press-encounter/2016-10-03/transcript-secretary-generals-press-conference-palais-des
In spite of this and other abundant evidence to the contrary, in 2013 you presented a diploma to President Nicolas Maduro in your Rome headquarters “honoring achievements in combatting hunger”. Mr. Maduro gave his thanks in a speech, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzOwYPLWxo8, in which he gave credit to former dictator, Hugo Chavez, for eliminating hunger in the country. This was received by your audience with much applause.
In June 2015 then Venezuelan Vice-president Arreaza (now replaced by a person fingered by the U.S. government as a drug kingpin) gave a speech in which he used official statistics that differ significantly from the findings of Venezuelan and non-Venezuelan independent observers such as CARITAS, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3SOO6kYyDk.
A December 2016 report by CARITAS reveals serious malnutrition in the four Venezuelan states surveyed, see: http://www.actuall.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/L%C3%ADnea-Basal-del-Monitoreo-Centinela-de-la-Situaci%C3%B3n-Nutricional-Caritas-de-Vzla.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTmpCaU5tUmlObUV4TUdVMSIsInQiOiI3UE82dkx5bHF1K0tzSjNaVWplMVJJRThyelN2aUhBSTRkWWVMclNwS1liMHB3ZnBiNStQXC95cFM3cE4xclE0bDlDUHpBbnUrUWo0RFlSMHlMUHVyZ1BFekYzaTdEVkt6ajVrMktFc2szNTBMR1gzVGNqZlMralRrRlIxWmZwQlMifQ%3D%3D . In this report they talk about up to 25% of children surveyed with acute malnutrition; malnutrition of medium severity in the states of Zulia and Vargas; family food intake of very low quality, lacking in critical nutrients; people eating garbage found in the streets and other horror stories.
Meanwhile Mr. Marcelo Resende, your man in Caracas, has kept arguing in favor of the Venezuelan regime and refusing to accept the existence of a humanitarian crisis in the country. Last year he said, see: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-07/20/c_135528096.htm: “Marcelo Resende, Venezuela's representative for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), told a food supply meeting that the south American country "is not in a position for humanitarian aid.. Freddy Bernal from the Local Committees for Supply and Production (CLAP) shared Resende's perspective through his Twitter account that Venezuela doesn't need humanitarian aid, opposing what leaders of the local right-wing opposition said. In April 2015, the FAO acknowledged Venezuela's fight against hunger, the eradication of poverty and guaranteeing food”.
These and other FAO claims of support for a regime that has converted Venezuelans into beggars for food, instituting a perverse system by which they distribute low quality food bags (a source of immense corruption) to the Venezuelan people in exchange for political loyalty, constitute an immoral posture which has gained FAO much repulse from decent Venezuelans.
I ask you respectfully, once again, to put things right in Venezuela’s FAO office and in your own headquarters, so that your organization stops being an accomplice of the tragic crime being committed by the Venezuelan regime of Nicolas Maduro.