The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has cancelled its annual meeting scheduled to take place in China from March 28 to 31, after the communist country refused to grant visa to the Venezuelan delegates nominated by Opposition Leader Juan Guaidó.
Many countries, including the United States, Brazil and the European Union, recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s Interim President, but China and Russia do not.
The IDB has recently named Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard economist backed by Guaido, to its board. China’s refusal to grant him a visa has apparently angered the bank, forcing it to cancel the meeting altogether.
China, which has extensive business relationship with Venezuela, says Guaido “lacked legitimacy” and that it “had difficulty allowing” its representative to attend, according to Reuters.
Over the past decade, Venezuela has reportedly borrowed US$50 billion from China and supplies it with 240,000 barrels of oil per day.
China is a non-lending member of the bank and has tried to protect Venezuela’s embattled leader Nicolas Maduro, who is fighting for his survival as his country has been caught in unprecedented economic turmoil.
Hausmann, who was the IDB’s chief economist for six years, is a staunch critic of Maduro, and he even served as a minister in previous administration. Moreover, he also criticized China’s economic interests in his country, particularly its oil-backed loan packages.
In fact, China had told the IDB not to invite any representatives from Venezuela. But the United States insisted that Hausmann should be invited.
It would have been the first time the IDB had held the event in China, which joined the bank only a decade ago.