The United States is continuing to ratchet up pressure on the Venezuelan government in an attempt to topple President Nicolás Maduro. On Tuesday, the State Department announced it is giving control of Venezuela’s U.S. bank accounts to opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself to be president last week. Meanwhile, the U.S. has also refused to rule out a military invasion of Venezuela.
Democracy Now! spent the hour speaking with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn.
Part 1: As U.S. Moves to Oust Maduro, Is Invading Venezuela Next? Allan Nairn on Trump’s Attempted Coup
Part 2: Allan Nairn: Trump’s Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide
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In an ongoing effort to topple Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Vice President Mike Pence met with members of the Venezuelan opposition at the White House Tuesday alongside Trump’s new special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez.
Part 3: A War for Oil? Bolton Pushes Privatization of Venezuela’s Oil as U.S. Ratchets Up Pressure on Maduro
The U.S. has imposed a de facto embargo on oil from Venezuela’s state-run oil company. The new sanctions include exemptions for several U.S. firms, including Chevron and Halliburton, to allow them to continue working in Venezuela.