An Iranian ship carrying foodstuff has arrived in Venezuelan waters amid a shortage of basic goods and is nearing Puerto La Guaira, Iran's government news agency IRNA reported on Monday.
This is the sixth ship Iran has sent to the U.S.-sanctioned, cash-strapped Latin American country in the past month. In recent weeks five Iranian oil tankers have delivered oil to Venezuelan refineries. According to Hojjatollah Soltani, the Iranian ambassador to Caracas, the foodstuff and other commodities delivered by Golsan are meant to fill the shelves of an Iranian supermarket in the Latin American country struggling particularly with food shortage.
Venezuelan media on Monday reported that the goods from Golsan will supply an Iranian supermarket in Terrazas del Ávila in Caracas. According to these reports the Iranian group that purchased Salva Foods and renamed it as Megasis is planning to open several supermarkets in the country. "In theory, they will come with everything," a source told Extra Venezuela.
Under U.S. sanctions and deprived of foreign currency, Venezuela is not able to import food, medicine and other basic necessities amid the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Venezuelans have been forced to leave the country for its neighbors as a result of the humanitarian crisis the government of President Nicolas Maduro finding very difficult to overcome.
This tweet by the Iranian embassy in Caracas says shipment of food "another success in friendly and brotherly relations" between Iran and Venezuela.
On Saturday Soltani, told Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen television that Golsan which left Iran's Shahid Rajaee port on May 17 was carrying foodstuff to Iran's sanctioned Latin American ally.
In the past month, five Iranian tankers have carried over 1.5 million barrels of oil to Venezuelan refineries.
Many Iranian social media users have reacted angrily to the news of the food delivery to Venezuela, saying the government is spending its money in other countries such as Syria, Lebanon, and Venezuela while people at home suffer from poverty.