The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday rejected economically devastated Venezuela’s request for a $5 billion loan to help it cope with the onslaught of COVID-19 on the country that an aid agency warned is as prepared as war-torn Syria.President Nicolas Maduro made the request earlier on Tuesday but, in a statement hours later, the Washington-based institution indirectly cited a dispute over Mr. Maduro’s leadership in denying his petition.In a letter to IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva, Mr. Maduro said a $5 billion loan from the IMF “will contribute significantly to strengthening our detection and response systems.”It was the country’s first loan request to the IMF since 2001. “Unfortunately, the Fund is not in a position to consider this request,” because there is “no clarity” on international recognition of the country’s government, the IMF said.“IMF engagement with member countries is predicated on official government recognition by the international community, as reflected in the IMF’s membership. There is no clarity on recognition at this time,” the statement said.
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