Grayzone has obtained a list of “key outcomes” that include wrecking the nation’s economy, destabilizing its military and puppeteering its political opposition, reports Anya Parampil.
By Anya Parampil
On April 24, six days before self-proclaimed Venezuelan “interim president” Juan Guaidó‘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 Grayzone has obtained a full copy of the expunged report. The deleted page puts to bed any claims of Guaidó’s independence from Washington, as the State Department emphasizes the fact that he “announced his interim presidency… in January” at the the top of a section dedicated to breaking down “key outcomes” of U.S. efforts with regard to Venezuela.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Kimberly Breier recently took to Twitter to claim that “since he became acting president, Juan Guidó has given tangible results to the people of Venezuela.” Her tweet was accompanied with an infographic detailing alleged accomplishments of the powerless coup administration based on data compiled by the legally defunct National Assembly, the only governing body actually controlled by Guaidó.
Since becoming Interim President, @JGuaido has delivered tangible results for the people of #Venezuela. #EstamosUnidosVE https://t.co/hOkfd9DEkF pic.twitter.com/spblSnooEa
— Kimberly Breier (@WHAAsstSecty) May 1, 2019
But the Venezuela fact sheet posted and then deleted days earlier by the State Department told a dramatically different story.
Read the entire expunged fact sheet here [PDF] and at the end of this article.
Economic Hit List
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 State Department gloated in the deleted fact sheet that its policy 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.” It went on to boast that “Venezuela’s oil production fell to 736,000 barrels per day in March… substantially reducing” government revenue.
US Department of State Deleted Venezuela Hit List by Max Blumenthal on Scribd
“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,” Mark Weisbrot, co-director at the Center For Economic and Policy Research, told The Grayzone. “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.
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 U.S. 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.
‘List of Confessions’
In a recent interview with Grayzone, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel Moncada, characterized the deleted State Department fact sheet as “a list of confessions.”
“Imagine if any other country says… it’s proud of saying that we are destroying the economy of our neighbor; we are proud that we destroyed the political system of our neighbor; we are proud that they are suffering. They are saying we are waging war against Venezuela,” Moncada emphasized.
The ambassador went on to accuse the U.S. of engaging in “bullying” rather than international diplomacy.
The State Department’s own fact sheet appears to support this accusation, as it asserts “diplomatic pressure resulted in fewer markets for Venezuelan gold.” The document 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.
“They [say] it’s our ‘key’ achievements,” Moncada commented. “They are saying that they are causing trouble in our military and inducing a military coup, [which] so far they haven’t achieved, but they are working towards.”
“If any other person says that themselves,” the ambassador concluded, “and you take that confession to court, they would be in prison.”
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 Guaidó’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.
“They are so far out of any normal parameters of decency, morality, legality, reason, that really they are dangerous,” Moncada said of the Trump administration. “They are a real threat to international peace, and they are a real threat to my people.”
Anya Parampil is a Washington-based journalist. She previously hosted a daily progressive afternoon news program called “In Question” on RT America. She has produced and reported several documentaries, including on the ground reports from the Korean peninsula and Palestine.
“As national media focuses its lenses on the delegated spokespeople of the pro-coup mob outside the Venezuelan Embassy, the voices of millions of working-class Venezuelans who voted in large numbers for their elected government, or even just those who do not want to see an escalation of the conflict, have been wholly ignored.
Instead, Americans are instructed to consult a carefully conceived “Ask a Venezuelan” campaign that was designed by corporate marketing strategists. It is the brainchild of elite members of the diaspora with ties to the U.S. government, the military-industrial complex, and the Guaidó coup administration. And as with a number of other PR campaigns, it is designed to distract Americans from the deeply unsettling reality unfolding in the heart of their nation’s capital.”
The Republicans and their organizations keep touting that they are up against the “Deep State”. Well, it looks like we know who the _Deep State’ really is. Your secret is out, Trump!
Anya Parampil. If you would like to improve you writing on this important topic, here is one big suggestion: try to stay consistent with the evidence available from your sources. Thankfully you included the link to the ‘Fact Sheet’, which I read with interest. What I found did not square at all with the rest of your rhetoric. It was a rather lame and tame list of all of the essentially toothless things that the bureaucrats in the USG have busied themselves with for years.
You cherry picked a couple of things that were on the list, and made special hay from the dropping oil production. As a person who has lived and worked in Venezuela for 3 years and worked in the oil business for 20+ years, I can tell you that an outside sabotage would be essentially meaningless if the operators of the oil fields and refineries were competent, but since they aren’t, no outside sabotage is needed. Your lack of knowledge of any of this shines through in your opinions/comments. Not good. Not even a D-, sad to say.
Someone might be pressing you to ‘oppose the empire’ or some such pre-positioning to cater to the supposed audience of this site. And taking this position in some times and places might be exactly right. But in the case of Venezuela, the… shall we say at the very least non-democratically oriented… government is possibly the worst, in terms of basic competence, that we’ve seen since the fall of the USSR.
Is it the US’s problem? Well, not yet, not until there is an even worse humanitarian crisis. Should the US do something to support the people who have consistently (for decades now) opposed what has become the criminal enterprise now masquerading as the Venezuelan Government? Well, yes, insofar as is possible and reasonable.
Which is all the stuff on the list. Does this make much difference? Who knows? Maduro is propped up by 20,000 or so Cuban mercs that care absolutely nothing about Venezuelan democracy or the people there. They only care about staying off the island hell that they came from and enjoying what pickings there are in what is left of Venezuela.
I personally have regretted the neglect and distain for taking action to support the democratic institutions of Venezuela that characterized the entire Obama administration. But maybe Obama was put off by Chavez’s (and Maduro’s) name calling, and that was enough to shut him down. In the mean time, the whole country has slid into a morass. Again, is it a problem for the USA? Not particularly, at this point. For humanity? Definitely.
Sour grapes. Eloquence only serves to reinforce your bitterness as a member of the foreign petroleum groups that had their candy stolen back by the people of Venezuela, who own it in the first place. Vapid ad hominems aside, your expertise is apparently based on 3 years experience working in Venezuela? Maybe you should go and find some of these alleged Cuban mercenaries and ask them who signs their paycheck.
“If anything, US sabotage and threats and US backing for a government of the wealthy are probably galvanizing support for Maduro. While people in the US, if they are paying any attention at all to events in Venezuela, may believe that Maduro is a corrupt thug, people in Venezuela itself, and in most of Latin America know full well that the main problems in that oil-rich country have to do with the collapse in oil prices since the heady days of Hugo Chavez when it was going for $100 a barrel, to American efforts to block Venezuela from exporting its oil now, and to freeze or even seize Venezuelan assets and oil receipts from the oil it does manage to export, and to other forms of economic warfare engaged in by the United States. As in Cuba, this kind of strategy by the US only works to build support for the country’s existing government.”
This article loose all credibility when on the first paragraph declare “Venezuela’s democratically elected government”
Maduro’s regime is not Democratic nor elected.
You should document yourself about the concept of democracy or at list don’t try to confuse the American readers.
Maduro was elected in 2018 according to Venezuela’s constitution with a 46% turnout, winning 67% of the vote. This election was then affirmed by 150 international representatives from 30 countries “monitoring the process.”
Note also this video from Jimmy Dore with Greg Palast on Venezuela for another viewpoint responding to the conflict which contrasts with the notion of Maduro as filthy dictator etc. etc.
Caution: Jimmy Dore likes the word “fuck.”
You act like this is a new Trump thing. This began under the Obama administration and was a direct result of a power grab in Venezuela by officials in their government. The people were hurting because of it as soon as the coffers began to run dry from the crazy socialist policies. The paper that was taken down highlighted exactly what happened and the reasons for it which were very legitimate, not illegal. For the few hygiene kits that made it to the people, there are countless pallets of supplies sitting on the border and on runways that the loyalist military will not allow to be given to the people. Maduro and Guido, like every other Socialist leaders in the history of socialism, were not interested in helping their people. They were interested in consolidating power and wealth at the top at the expense of future generations. They live well while their people suffer. That’s socialism.
Yeah, this exists, good luck out there.
Thanks for this post. It is no wonder why there are so many in opposition to your analysis that the US government is responsible for the suffering of the Venezuelan people.
All the comments are either for or against the Maduro Government. Those who oppose the government of Maduro and pray for salvation with US intervention fail to see the history of the United States and a whole bunch of Imperialists which clouded their ambitions to rape the countries they attacked with humanitarian platitudes and calls for justice.
In the case of Venezuela the US cannot hide their intentions to deprive that nation of their sovereignty by taking every action to deprive the nation of money based on sanctions and to nominate a new government completely outside of the political structure of that country. Sanctions are the economic equal of military actions. The seek to provide the means for regime change without military attacks. Economic sanctions are the new form of warfare.
In Venezuela there are economic sancti0ns combined with military actions by the US to depose the government.
It is insightful to look backwards in history to see just how many governments which deprived their citizens any rights which were supported by US foreign policy
There is a long list of dictators we supported specifically in the governments or puppet regimes we supported in South America. This is not a new phenomenon. We have long supported oppressive regimes in South America that actively impoverished their populations. Perhaps this is capitalism at its best. A concentration of wealth which seeks to gain access to mineral wealth via whatever means necessary including starvation and military action to break apart a government in order to replace it with a dictatorship aligned to support the extraction of wealth from the nation willing to kill the population or drown it in poverty in order to get the Gold.
The acts described are unquestionable Acts of War, Acts that without a Congressional Declaration of War constitute criminal offenses.
The question then is, what body is legally competent and possesses the authority makes this stick?
Under the present circumstances it might have to wait for the results of the 2020 Federal Elections. (While the legal issues are clear enough the current aberrations called the Trump Administration and the dysfunctional Congress of the United States will probably have to run their course).
This sh*t really does have to stop because the alternative is WW III.
That’s a fine propaganda peice you have there, to bad you liked the original sorce…
Which is dubious itself I might add…
Dear Anya Parampil,
Take a flight to Venezuela, and live for yourself the tragedy of the Venezuelan people, don’t limit yourself to write all this crap without knowing the facts.
Go to the border with Colombia, see for yourself the hunger, the poverty. I’ve seen things the Maduro’s government has done to people, violent, abusive and evil.
No water, no electricity, no food and no opportunities, millions of refugees fleeing the country, thousands dying at hospitals since there are no medicines and no resources.
If you love communism, don’t live it from the comfortability of your desk somewhere in the US, go to Cuba or Venezuela and live there.
Venezuelan people are begging for a Military Intervention, the US is the only power capable of bring freedom to the country and make justice to this Maduro’s sadistic government.
God bless America!
Absolutely. The youngsters are clueless. They’ll destroy the country and then try to blame it on something other then their idiotic centrally mandated economic policies. Read history morons. Socialism has never worked. Never. No lack of experimentation.
Why has journalism forgotten the lessons of fact vs opinion. Mainstream media pushes their opinion as fact and idiots that want to believe that crap bite. Try writing about the news not your opinion of it. You have a document that may or may not be real. How can you say what anyone’s motivation was , as you’re not a mind reader? In my opinion, we are cutting off a rouge regime’s ability to finance itself. This is to help the people not to hurt them. Maybe they’re eating beef or chicken instead of dog now. All you younger people haven’t seen the real face of socialism like tiananmen square or the Berlin Wall where the east germans we’re held captive and couldn’t see family members on the other side of the wall. It was a great day on 1988 when the wall came down. But, I’d rather have the cold war than the stupidity I see all over today.
You bunch of anti-American Communists should move to Venezuela
The bully in the White House is doing the exact same things, with the help of his enablers the CIA and big corporations with their congressional lackeys, that a similar gang did to Chile in 1970-73. Which makes the White House Resident not only a bully, but very very stupid. But what did we expect?
WTF? The so called writer trying to make America look bad? [email protected] THAT! I’m a veteran and I will ALWAYS protect my country [email protected] haters can kiss my damn ASS!
No, America’s government is making the country look bad. Wars of unprovoked aggression against weak, unthreatening nations is not “protecting” your country. If you took your brains out of your ass you might see that.
You just claimed the prize of today’s biggest fool on the internet with that entry. Go pick it up at the White House.
Brilliant, I can’t tell if you are being serious,or if you merely demonstrate how ignorance works.
I sincerely hope you’re being sarcastic.
Please report to your Psychiatrist immediately. You must not be taking the prescribed medication.
The USA is making itself look bad by its bullying tactics.
Nothing this author stated is proven. Theres a picture of a document any five year old could create on a computer and a bunch of typed words. Do you people really believe what you see on the internet? First rule of the internet, nothing is real. Same with Television, movies, and magicians.
Thank you Embassy Protectors. Keep on…
This “Coups R US” State Dept press release sums up perfectly why this depraved, disgraceful & sadistic US Empire needs to end up in the dustbin of History, sooner rather than later? Every other Country needs to coordinate efforts to de-dollarise their economies away from this Tyrant Empire & end its Petrodollar system? Whether that’s by replacing US dollars for Oil by denominating in other currencies or by getting rid of all US dollars & buying gold instead & dumping US Treasuries & buying Bitcoin, the quicker this happens, the sooner American’s endless Wars can end? America needs to receive a taste of it’s own medicine by other Countries by inflicting the same economic terrorism it is imposing on others such as Venezuela & Iran, China & Russia! The only way to stop this Rogue Nation & Warmongering psychopathic Tyrant is to economically cripple its ability to endlessly fund its lawless, immoral Government & Military by money printing counterfeiting called QE! That’s the only way to stop the madness & chaos created by the US Empire!
Spoken like a true patriot! I heartily concur. I’m sick of being ashamed and actually dreading what Washington will do next! AND it’s BOTH parties.
Yes, starving, maiming, neglecting and driving innocents from their homes is a skill that Washington has perfected since first employed against Native Americans in the late 18th century. Our last five or six presidents have been absolutely world-class practitioners of the deadly art. Just ask the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Libyans, the Syrians, the Somalis, the Yemenis, even selected Pakistanis… with a long waiting list of countries yet to be initiated into America’s fan club. Both Iran and Venezuela have received their invitations, but neither seems too enthusiastic. Neither does North Korea which didn’t recently shoot off some big rockets to celebrate.
Let’s be honest about it, what Washington tries to palm off as foreign policy is really hard core organised crime–extortion, racketeering, thuggery, contract killings and downright theft. Capone’s Murder Incorporated was a summer camp for Brownie Scouts in comparison the massive war crimes that Washington perpetrates… purposefully, willfully, gleefully. The only reason they “get away” with it, no longer surreptitiously in dark shadows but unapologetically in broad daylight, is that most everyone else in the world is terrified of these unstable psychotic maniacs… or else the maniacs have somehow (most likely through intimidation or bribery) ensured that every leader of consequence across the globe is a sicko just like them. Those that aren’t they demonize, threaten to overthrow, destabilise their countries, and scatter their people to the four winds (preferably to Europe to ensure the enlightenment comes to a quick end there as it has in America). America lost its principles and moral standing long ago, it needs to lose its power and influence soon if the world is to survive.
It’s not just some extremist conspiracy theorist saying this. A former president (initials JC) recently admitted with great regret that this country has been AT PEACE (not fighting a war somewhere in the world) for only five years of its entire effed-up history.
Using terms like “sicko” and “psychotic” when your entire response reads like some dude shouting on a street corner shows your lack of self awareness and/or greater understanding of human behavior. It’s a shame, you started off strong with that first paragraph but the second was just so laden with irony that it drags your response down to the level of a CL R&R post.
Using cutting language is not psychotic. Destroying half the world in an attempt to control it is.
Using strident rhetoric to condemn such bloodthirsty psychoses is in no way ironic, there is no equivalency whatsoever, at least not in the real world.
Loosen up and listen to more George Carlin, a man whose choice of words forced you to take heed of his always insightful messages.
You might as well not write an article if you are going to misinforme the reader.
So you’re just going to take a one-line shot at the credibility article without even backing it up? Class act. You must’ve been at the top of your preschool debate team last semester.
“They are so far out of any normal parameters of decency, morality, legality, reason, that really they are dangerous,” Moncada said of the Trump administration. “They are a real threat to international peace, and they are a real threat to my people.”
In fact, this is precisely the current evolution of “humanitarian intervention” that should be called “humanitarian inhumanity” that currently targets Iran, Syria, Crimea, Russia in general, Venezuela and perhaps other nations that USA and obedient allies wish to make “pariah states”. I have seen a U-tube of a presentation of a Pentagon official how acutely USA managed to damage Russian economy. In that case it was basically bragging and exaggeration, Russia was preparing for that for a long time and having large economy with large industrial base etc. it was hardly hit.
According to “legalistic pronouncements” of USA, EU, NATO, Crimea should not be allowed to import and export anything, get food, energy or water (that Ukraine cut off too) until it ends its contumacious rebellion. In the case of Yemen that rejects its “legitimate president” Hadi, that ambitious immiseration is actually implemented, except that some shipment of food are apparently allowed. BTW, cholera was (and is?) raging on both sides of the line of control in Yemen, “loyalist area” being profoundly misgoverned.
Freezing money obtained by exports is basically theft. By letting his “government” to block essential imports, USA-led alliance puts Guaido in the same odious situation as Hadi of Yemen (who additionally “instruct his allies” to bomb his compatriots etc.).
Nevertheless, the current “liberal consensus” as practiced by Obama, European allies of USA etc. is that economic sabotage, however savage, is a moderate sensible course of action as contrasted with military intervention that failed so far.
Let us not forget that the internal affairs in the USA are about as mis-managed as the foreign affairs. Looking at the growing cast of candidates running against Trump in 2020, who is the most capable to restore sanity?
The scales of justice weigh incompetence against malice every day.
“The United States perfectly fits it`s own description of a rogue state .” Arundhati Roy .
Arundhati Roy’s writing would read “real well” on Consortium News. She is an extremely thoughtful person.