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Issue #1930      August 31, 2020

Guaido taps frozen Venezuelan assets to fund opposition plans

Over $300 million in seized Venezuelan public funds will be channelled to pay National Assembly politicians, private healthcare workers and multilateral bodies providing COVID-19 “humanitarian” assistance.

With the move, the US government, which along with Canada andnumerous EU countries, has seized up to $24 billion in Venezuelan government assets since early 2019, is seeking new momentum in its elusive goal of ousting Venezuela’s democratically elected President Nicolas Maduro.

Despite openly distancing itself from opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó over multiple failed coup attempts and embezzlement scandals, the Trump administration, in coordination with the Organization of American States (OAS), has granted a special license to begin initiating monthly payments of $100 to over 65,000 private health sector workers, as well two years of back pay to opposition lawmakers, the Washington Post reports.

The majority of these stolen funds held by the U.S. Justice and Treasury departments in special forfeiture accounts, $601 million has already been diverted to fund Trump’s border wall with Mexico partially. Remaining funds, belonging to the Venezuelan government, its Central Bank (BCV) and PDVSA’s U.S. subsidiary, Citgo, have been siphoned to fund the Venezuelan opposition, sent to Guaido’s diplomatic staff worldwide and, in the case of a BCV Citibank account, transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, denounced as a “vulgar plunder” to the tune of $342 million.

The Post also reports that the Trump administration plans to close a sanctions loophole that allows other countries to ship fuel to Venezuela, namely Iran, whose recent shipments have proven crucial given the impacts of the U.S. blockade and oil sanctions on the Venezuelan economy and people.

With a growing bipartisan realisation that the Trump administration’s unilateral coercive measures have failed to achieve their stated goals of ousting President Maduro, and have only served to shore up support in Florida for Trump’s electoral aspirations while causing suffering and hardship for the Venezuelan people, this move is the latest in a series of illegal measures looting massive amount of wealth from poor and working Venezuelans and handing it over to Venezuela’s right-wing elite.


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