- The Washington Times - Monday, June 17, 2019

The Navy’s premier hospital ship is set to embark on a five-month humanitarian mission in Central and South America to assist U.S. regional allies with Venezuelan refugees fleeing ongoing strife in the country.

The USNS Comfort, currently docked in Miami, will leave the U.S. on June 18, making several stops in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Saint Lucia, and St. Kitts and Nevis, as part of the operation, the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy ship’s medical crews “will provide care on board and at land-based medical sites, helping to relieve pressure on national medical systems strained partly by an increase in displaced Venezuelans,” service officials said.

The humanitarian mission was deemed necessary due to the” ever-worsening humanitarian crisis [tied] to the ongoing political and economic instability in Venezuela,” the officials added.

U.S.-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his followers in May launched the so-called “final phase” of their efforts to oust socialist strongman Nicolas Maduro from power.



Volent clashes broke out between Guiado backers, who enjoy clear backing from the Trump White House, and government troops in Caracas, which ended when opposition forces were eventually forced to concede as regime forces quickly reasserted control in the capital.

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