An internal government document reveals tactics of “economic warfare” and “financial weapons” the US is using against Venezuela in the name of “furthering capitalism.”
by Ben Norton
Venezuela has suffered from an economic crisis in recent years, and while the US government and corporate media outlets have blamed this hardship solely on the ruling socialist party, internal US government documents acknowledge that Washington has been using what it clearly describes as “financial weapons” to wage “economic warfare” on the oil-rich South American nation.
The quiet admission confirms what Caracas’ government has said for years: The United States is waging an economic war on Venezuela, the country with the world’s largest oil reserves.
Crippling sanctions imposed by the Donald Trump administration have bled Venezuela of billions of dollars.
The first United Nations rapporteur to visit the nation in two decades, legal expert Alfred de Zayas, told The Independent that the devastating international sanctions on Venezuela are illegal and could potentially be a crime against humanity.
Professor Steve Ellner, a leading scholar of Venezuela’s politics who has lived and taught in the country for decades, explained in an interview on Moderate Rebels that the sanctions have economically isolated Caracas: “The fear of retaliation on the part of the Trump administration has pressured the world economic community to lay off the Venezuelan economy. This amounts practically to a blockade of Venezuela.”
In early 2019, the Trump administration dug the knife deeper. On January 23, the US government initiated a political coup in Venezuela by recognizing the unelected right-wing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as supposed “interim president.”
Guaidó, who was unknown to a staggering 81 percent of Venezuelans according to a January poll, has tried to usurp the legitimate government of President Nicolás Maduro, who was re-elected in a 2018 presidential election that was voluntarily boycotted by the US-backed opposition.
This ongoing coup attempt is the culmination of a two-decade long US destabilization campaign aimed at shattering Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution. Caracas has long described this campaign as one of economic warfare. And internal US government documents show that’s exactly what it is.