A Chinese hospital vessel has moored at a port near Caracas, where its staff will be providing free medical care to Venezuelans. Recently, a similar-class ship was sent by the US to Colombia to treat refugees fleeing Venezuela.
The ‘Peace Ark,’ a 300-bed Chinese Navy hospital ship, has moored on Saturday at the port of La Guaira lying close to Venezuelan capital. The vessel, which was commissioned back in 2008, is said to have eight surgery rooms and a medevac helicopter.
According to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the ‘Peace Ark’ will stay in Venezuela for about a week. During the stay, the Chinese commander of the ship will meet with military and political officials and inspect Venezuelan and medical facilities.
China is one of Venezuela’s key allies, and the vessel’s visit was seen there as a sign of Beijing’s support for the crisis-hit country. Maduro himself only recently came back from a trip to China, where he sought to attract investment and new loans. Though Beijing leaders pledged to help Caracas, it made no reference to pumping more money in Venezuela’s economy.