According to The Grayzone, a news and politics website dedicated to original investigative journalism and analysis on war and empire, “on April 24, six days before self-proclaimed Venezuelan “interim president” Juan Guaido’s attempt to violently overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government alongside a handful of military defectors, the U.S. State Department published a fact sheet that boasted of Washington’s central role in the ongoing coup attempt. After realizing the incriminating nature of its error, the State Department quickly acted to remove the page.”
The @StateDept published, then deleted, a fact sheet on US Venezuela policy which bragged about destroying the country’s economy & listed @jguaido’s self-declared presidency as as “outcome” of Washington’s efforts.— Anya Parampil (@anyaparampil) May 6, 2019
My latest at @GrayzoneProject https://t.co/wX5QHzE1K6 pic.twitter.com/hBtThLJksU
The report says the deleted page puts to bed any claims of Guaido’s independence from Washington, as the State Department more or less admits the fact that Guaido was a part of the “key outcomes” of U.S. efforts with regard to Venezuela.
"Entitled “U.S. Actions on Venezuela,” the document boasted that U.S. policy had effectively prevented the Venezuelan government from participating in the international market and has led to the freezing of its overseas assets. It read like a sadistic celebration of Washington’s retribution against the Venezuelan population as a whole, the kind of collective punishment which is illegal according to Article 33 of the Geneva Conventions," the report says.
The State Department’s fact sheet even frames recent decisions by the Organization of American States, Lima Group, Inter-American Development Bank, and European Union to either recognize or support Guaido’s shadow administration as a U.S. achievement, highlighting Washington’s outsized influence within each of these supposedly international governing bodies. The decision to mention the E.U. and Lima Group is particularly noteworthy considering the United States is not a member of either organization.
The document boasted that: “diplomatic pressure resulted in fewer markets for Venezuelan gold,” and further highlighted U.S. actions that have supposedly led “more than 1,000 members of the military [to recognize] Juan Guaido as interim President” and defect to Colombia, as well as stranding “an estimated 25 crude oil tankers with 12 million barrels” off Venezuela’s coast.
The fact sheet went further to say that US policy on Venezuela had ensured that the Maduro government “cannot rely on the U.S. financial system” to conduct business, noting “key outcomes” of U.S. actions include the fact that “roughly $3.2 billion of Venezuela’s overseas are frozen.”
In addition, “Venezuela’s oil production fell to 736,000 barrels per day in March… substantially reducing” government revenue.
The Grayzone report quoted Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director at the Center For Economic and Policy Research, as saying : “If I were the State Department I wouldn’t brag about causing a cut in oil production to 763,000 barrels per day — which is a 36 percent drop, in just the two months of February and March this year ....This means even more premature deaths than the tens of thousands that resulted from sanctions last year.”
"Weisbrot recently co-authored a bracing report which found that 40,000 Venezuelans died between 2017 and 2018 as a direct result of U.S. sanctions. The State Department patted itself on the back for announcing its preparedness “to provide an additional $20 million in initial humanitarian assistance” to Venezuela, however, the CEPR report concluded that Trump Administration sanctions implemented in August 2017 resulted in “a loss of $6 billion in oil revenue over the ensuing year” alone says Grayzone.
"While the State Department praised the opposition for “providing medical and hygiene attention to over 6,000” Venezuelans, those numbers dwarf in comparison to the 300,000 people CEPR “estimated to be at risk because of lack of access to medicines or treatment… [including] 80,000 people with HIV who have not had antiretroviral treatment since 2017, 16,000 people who need dialysis, 16,000 people with cancer, and 4 million with diabetes and hypertension.”
In other words, the supposed “Venezuela Crisis Response Assistance” touted by the State Department is not even a band-aid over the gaping wound that US unilateral coercive measures have inflicted on the country.
In Weisbrot’s view, the “policy” and “outcomes” promoted by the State Department in the disappeared document will merely lead to “more cuts in imports of medicine, food, medical equipment, and inputs necessary to maintain water, health, and sanitation infrastructure.”
Having denied the Venezuelan government the ability to provide for its own population, the U.S. has essentially promised that thousands more deaths will occur.
The State Department did not respond to The Grayzone’s request for a comment on the fact sheet it deleted.
Read the entire expunged fact sheet here [PDF].
The entire text of the Grayzone article can be read here: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/05/06/us-state-department-publishes-then-deletes-sadistic-venezuela-hit-list-boasting-of-economic-ruin/#more-7987
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