US State Department publishes, then deletes, own report outlining subversive anti-Venezuela measures
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US State Department publishes, then deletes, own report outlining subversive anti-Venezuela measures

The revealing State Department report acknowledged that the US was seeking to weaken Venezuela's economy, destabilize its military and prop up opposition leader Juan Guaido, the investigative journalism group Grayzone reported on Monday. Venezuela has been in political turmoil since the US-backed Guaido declared himself “interim president” in January. Last week, Guaido launched a failed military coup seeking to oust President Nicolas Maduro. On April 24, nearly a week before the US-backed coup, the State Department published the fact sheet, entitled "US actions on Venezuela", only to delete it shortly after, according to the report. Grayzone, however, claimed to have obtained a copy of the document. The report lauded US policies for greatly disrupting the Venezuelan economy, adding that they had "substantially reduced" the government's revenue. Among "key outcomes" of Washington's recent anti-Venezuela policies were the freezing of “roughly $3.2 billion of Venezuela’s assets overseas,” as well as stranding “an estimated 25 crude oil tankers with 12 million barrels” off Venezuela’s coast. As a result of Washington's measures, “Venezuela’s oil production fell to 736,000 barrels per day in March" and that US “diplomatic pressure resulted in fewer markets for Venezuelan gold”, read the fact sheet. The document also effectively discredited claims about Guaido being an independent political actor, listing the opposition leader's self-proclaimed interim presidency as part of "key outcomes" of US policy towards Venezuela. The report claimed that "more than 1,000 members of the military have recognized Juan Guaido as interim President," describing it as another US policy achievement. The fact sheet also presented recent decisions by the Organization of American States, the Lima Group, the Inter-American Development Bank, and European Union to support Guaido’s administration as a result of US "strong policy actions", effectively highlighting Washington's heavy influence in these regional and international bodies. "A list of confessions" Washington's open acknowledgement of its role in targeting Venezuela comes as a recent report published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) estimated that about 40,000 people may died in the country between 2017 and 2018 as a result of US sanctions. The sanctions have reduced the availability of food, medicine and medical equipment in the country, according to the CEPR report. Speaking in a recent interview with Grayzone, Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations Samuel Moncada described the 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,” said Moncada . The Venezuelan ambassador said that the Trump administration had become "a real threat to international peace", adding that "they are a real threat to my people". “They are so far out of any normal parameters of decency, morality, legality, reason, that really they are dangerous,” Moncada said. The deleted State Department report is, however, still available on the website of the US Embassy and Consulates in Brazil.

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