Grand Theft Venezuela: Stealing a Nation
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Michael Hudson explained that Washington “treat(s) Venezuela as an extension of the US economy, running a trade surplus in oil to spend in the United States or transfer its savings to US banks.”
Sanctions prevent Maduro’s government “from gaining access to its US bank deposits,” including state-owned CITGO refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products.
The US plot involves “making it impossible for Venezuela to pay its foreign debt,” forcing the nation to default on its obligations, a pretext for the Trump regime to try seizing its foreign assets.
Making Venezuela’s economy scream aims to crush it into submission, leaving it vulnerable to stealing the nation by the US.
It’s held captive by US demands. Economic, financial and sanctions war transformed normality into crisis conditions.
Financial war can be more dangerous than standing armies, war waged by other means, raping nations and their people for profit.
Examples abound, including earlier in Chile under a US-installed military dictatorship, Greece transformed into a zombie country by the European Commission, ECB and IMF.
The latter financial institution is considered the loan shark of last resort for good reason, serving US-led Western monied interests at the expense of nations and their people.
Venezuela is being slowly suffocated by asymmetrical warfare, sucking out its financial oxygen to survive, wanting its wealth transferred to US interests.
According to a Latin American Geopolitical Strategic Center (CELAG) study, US financial war on Venezuela since Maduro’s April 2013 election through 2017 cost the country $350 billion in lost production of goods and services.
The US has been systematically strangling its economy under Obama and Trump. What’s going on may be prelude to military intervention – unjustifiably justified by made-in-the-USA humanitarian crisis conditions and low oil prices.
Washington blocked Venezuela “from international financial markets, preventing it from using the credit market both to renew maturities and to make new loans,” the CELAG report explained.
Its dependency on revenues from oil sales made it highly vulnerable to US war by other means. The “economic consequences of the (US) boycott” of the country have been devastating, notably to its people.
Trump warned that he might intervene in Venezuela militarily, a nightmarish scenario if he goes this far.
DLT is a serial liar, last month calling Venezuela as menacing as North Korea. Neither country threatens others. The US and its imperial partners threaten world peace and humanity’s survival.
Since Maduro’s tenure as president began, the CELAG report said “the Venezuelan public sector stopped receiving in net terms flows that in the quinquennium 2008-2012, more than USD$95 billion dollars, that is, about USD$19 billion per year” because of US asymmetrical warfare, adding:
“The Venezuelan Government had to pay more than US$17 billion dollars in the five-year period 2013-2017, about US$3.3 billion dollars per year.”
Its economy “suffered international asphyxiation of US$22.5 billion dollars a year resulting from a deliberate international strategy of financial isolation. It is necessary to also include the fall of crude oil prices that happened around 2015.”
“As a consequence of the blockade, losses in the production of goods and services oscillated between a range of USD$350 billion and USD$260 billion in the period 2013-2017.”
If Maduro received international financing, Venezuelan GDP growth from 2013 – 17 would have exceeded Argentina’s.
Instead it faces possible financial collapse without international help, China and Russia most able to provide it among nations recognizing Maduro’s legitimacy.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”