(Washington, D.C.) – An agreement between the Venezuelan authorities and the opposition, which is expected to allow millions of humanitarian aid to Venezuela through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), is an important step forward, Human Rights Watch said today. On 1 June 2020, Venezuelan Health Minister Carlos Alvarado and National Health Assembly Advisor Julio Castro signed the agreement to coordinate international funding efforts to strengthen Venezuela`s capacity to respond to the pandemic. They also asked PAHO, a branch of the United Nations, to “provide technical and administrative assistance.” The agreement was supported by Venezuelan Vice President for Communication, Tourism and Culture Jorge Rodriguez and opposition leader Juan Guaidé. “This agreement is a huge victory for the Venezuelan people, whose rights and well-being should be a top priority,” said José Miguel Vivanco, U.S. director at Human Rights Watch. “This is largely the result of continued international pressure on the Maduro government, which, after showing a reckless disregard for the lives and health of its people, has finally turned to the outside world for aid in the midst of a pandemic, a humanitarian emergency, a failing economy, power cuts and gas shortages. The next step is to turn the agreement into life-saving measures. Venezuelan opposition leaders have hinted that funds from a Venezuelan liberation fund would be sent to Venezuela via PAHO. The fund consists of $20 million previously managed by the Maduro government, which had frozen the U.S. government. In addition, some funds are used to support other independent humanitarian groups working in Venezuela and to provide $100 a month to Venezuelan health professionals for three months, according to a source briefed on opposition plans, Human Rights Watch. The Spanish government also said it had transferred frozen funds from the Venezuelan government to Spain to PAHO. The agreement sets out the following priorities: the agreement stipulates that Venezuela must not use nuclear equipment and know-how provided by Russia “to manufacture nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, nor to achieve any military objective, and will be under the guarantees of the IAEA.” According to a Rosatom press release, the agreement does not include the transfer of “any know-how or chemical reprocessing system of irradiated fuels, isotopic enrichment of uranium or production of heavy water, its main components or objects derived from it, nor uranium enriched with uranium enriched with 20% or more.”  After the signing, Rosatom`s leader, Inseisko, said that the agreement should not raise doubts about its proliferation, given that Venezuela was a member of the IAEA and had signed a nuclear non-proliferation agreement. Although Venezuela is a member of the NPT and has signed an IAEA safeguard agreement, it has not yet acceded to the additional protocol, which would give the Agency broader powers of control. In 1998, former military officer Hugo Chavez was elected president on a populist platform called the “Bolivarian Revolution,” which called on the country to use its oil revenues to support social programs in his own country and counter the United States.