Friday, October 6, 2017 — In the crucial days following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the OECS Commission joined forces with the Embassy of Venezuela and the Government of Saint Lucia to provide a steady stream of relief supplies to affected OECS Member States.
Most recently, using the Hewanorra International Airport in Saint Lucia as the operational base for flights to and from Dominica, the Bolivarian Military Air Force deployed four cargo planes and one helicopter to assist with the relief efforts.
A team of more than 40 Venezuelan medics, paramedics and rescue specialists were able to lend their services to Dominica and deliver medicine, food, water and humanitarian aid from Venezuela, the State of Palestine and other Caribbean islands.
Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Saint Lucia, H.E. Mrs. Leiff Escalona Barrueta, thanked the OECS Commission and the Government of St. Lucia for facilitating the delivery of humanitarian support to Dominica.
“Thirteen doctors were able to work in Dominica across eight different communities and, in ten days, they were able to attend to 2.015 persons.”
“Together it was possible to do great work for our sisters and brothers in Dominica and we hope to continue working together,” Ambassador Escalna Barrueta said.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, also expressed gratitude to the Venezuelan Embassy in Saint Lucia for the timely support when the OECS was at its most vulnerable.
“The timeliness of assistance provided in the hours and days following the passage of a major hurricane is critical to the well-being of those on the ground. We thank the government of Venezuela for stepping forward in solidarity with the OECS not once, but twice in the past month,” Dr. Jules said.
The Venezuelan international civilian-military rescue and humanitarian assistance brigade, named after liberator Simon Bolivar, completed its 10-day logistical support project in Dominica on September 30, 2017.
Rescue operations consisted in evacuating individuals needing medical attention, deploying personnel in isolated areas, transferring food and water supplies to areas with impassable roads.
The humanitarian team also provided similar aid to the people of Antigua and Barbuda, St. Martin, the British Virgin Islands and other Caribbean nations affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.