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While Trump cuts food stamps, USAID bankrolls Venezuela regime change with half a billion in tax dollars

The Trump administration has spent $654 million in “aid” to try to overthrow Venezuela’s government, including $435 million through USAID and $128 million directly to Juan Guaidó and his corrupt coup gang — all while imposing crippling austerity at home.

by Ben Norton

Part 1

Under President Donald Trump, the United States has dumped over half a billion dollars into regime change-related “aid” efforts targeting Venezuela’s elected, UN-recognized government.

From 2017 to December 2019, the Trump administration spent at least $654 million on Venezuela-related aid schemes. While Washington claims this spending assisted humanitarian efforts, much of the US taxpayers’ money financed efforts to destabilize and ultimately overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is a central arm of Washington’s hybrid war on socialist and independent states around the world. It has a long and sordid history of funding “civil society” groups and political opposition parties to topple the governments of designated enemies.

USAID has provided $435 million of this $654 million, bankrolling Venezuela’s right-wing, US-controlled opposition. At least $128 million of this USAID money went directly into the pockets of the coup leaders that the Trump administration attempted to install as the rulers of the country in 2019.

USAID recently divulged this shocking level of support, acknowledging that it is going to fund Venezuelan anti-government activists, NGOs, and opposition media outlets, along with the supposed “interim government” led by US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó, as well as Venezuela’s National Assembly, which until January was led by Guaidó and controlled by the right-wing opposition.

While the United States is spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to overthrow Venezuela’s leftist government, the Trump administration is aggressively cutting social programs at home.

To slash $4.2 billion in public expenditures over five years, Trump gutted food stamps that fed 700,000 poor Americans, most of whom are children. Funding this crucial program would cost just around $840 million per year – close to the amount Trump has poured into US regime-change efforts in Venezuela.

The Trump administration has also drastically cut taxes for the rich and large corporations. Thanks to these cuts, the richest 400 billionaires in the US now pay a lower tax rate than the poorest Americans.

As working-class Americans increasingly bear the burden of this taxation, their tax dollars are being spent on destroying socialist governments in the Global South.

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