Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro announced a state of emergency on Friday, warning of plots from the US and local right-wing groups to overthrow him. (Photo: Miraflores Palace/Reuters)

Venezuela Accuses US of Plotting Coup, Declares State of Emergency

'Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil,' said the nation's president.

Nika Knight

Venezuela's leftist president Nicolas Maduro announced a 60-day state of emergency on Friday evening and accused the U.S. of plotting with right-wing groups within the country to overthrow his government.

On the same day, unnamed D.C. officials warned of a coming "meltdown" in Venezuela.

The country is struggling with widespread blackouts, shortages, and looting as the collapse in oil prices has plunged it into economic turmoil.

The Independent reports

On Friday night, Mr. Maduro delivered a televised national address in which he directly accused the U.S. of seeing to foment his ouster.

“Washington is activating measures at the request of Venezuela's fascist right, who are emboldened by the coup in Brazil,” he said.

“We have already seen the image of the oligarchy signing and removing power to the people.”

Reuters described the context surrounding the two countries' long-estranged relationship:

Washington has had an acrimonious relationship with Caracas for years, especially following U.S. support for a short-lived 2002 coup against late leader Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party has long been a strong ally of Rousseff's Workers Party, however, and her departure adds to Maduro's isolation in Latin America.

Unnamed high-ranking U.S. officials spoke to Reuters early Friday, warning of a looming "meltdown" in the country:

The United States is increasingly concerned about the potential for an economic and political meltdown in Venezuela, spurred by fears of a debt default, growing street protests and deterioration of its oil sector, U.S. intelligence officials said on Friday.

In a bleak assessment of Venezuela's worsening crisis, the senior officials expressed doubt that unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro would allow a recall referendum this year, despite opposition-led protests demanding a vote to decide whether he stays in office.

But the two officials, briefing a small group of reporters in Washington, predicted that Maduro, who heads Latin America's most ardently anti-U.S. government and a major U.S. oil supplier, was not likely to be able to complete his term, which is due to end after elections in late 2018.

"You can hear the ice cracking. You know there's a crisis coming. Our pressure on this isn't going to resolve this issue," one official told the news service.

"This is really not the case that the U.S. is rooting for any outcome other than there not be an economic meltdown or social violence," another said. "There are reasons for concern that over the summer as Venezuela gives importance to payments on debt over imports that these events could spiral." 

"Maduro's government has consistently paid its debt on time," noted Reuters, "and has slammed market fears of a default as an international smear campaign."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

After Getting 'Stealth Bailout' During Pandemic, US Corporations Try to Kill Proposed Tax Hikes

"When it's time to finally put workers first, big businesses are spending millions to maintain their advantage and preserve the status quo," said Kyle Herrig of Accountable.US.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Disgraceful': Just 9 Republicans Join With Dems to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt

The vote "reveals just how far the Republican Party has fallen" since Trump took control as GOP's de facto leader, said one pro-democracy advocate.

Jon Queally ·


Top Dem Calls on Biden to Toss Legally 'Erroneous' Trump Memo and Ratify Equal Rights Amendment

The renewed push comes nearly 50 years after Congress passed the amendment.

Andrea Germanos ·


Report Details 'Jaw-Dropping' Abuse of Asylum Seekers by US Border Agents

The accounts of 160 asylum officers portray "DHS as an agency that appears to have normalized shocking abuses at the U.S. border."

Julia Conley ·


'Historic Victory': US Judge Rules Guantánamo Detainee's Imprisonment Illegal

"This is a landmark ruling. For 20 years, successive U.S. administrations have asserted their right to imprison people indefinitely, without charge or trial."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo