Jimmy Carter in talks with Venezuela on disease


NEW YORK (AP) — Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says he hopes to visit Venezuela next month to arrange to airlift medics to treat river blindness among a remote tribe on the Brazilian border.

Carter tells The Associated Press "We have eliminated river blindness in Latin America almost entirely, except for one tiny tribe on the border between Venezuela and Brazil."

The Yanomami, who number about 20,000 people, are afflicted by the parasitic worm, a leading cause of blindness from infection.

Carter says "We need access from Brazil and Venezuela by helicopter to fly into these little villages, that don't know where the border is. We're trying to get a diplomatic agreement between the two countries to fly across the border."

Carter hopes to visit Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in March "if circumstances permit."

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