The Washington Post reports that many are increasingly concerned that the US’ unilateral punitive sanctions on Venezuela are aggravating the possibility of a major “ecological disaster in this failing socialist state.” Notwithstanding its apparent concern for the environment, it doesn’t however go so far as to suggest that the ‘failing capitalist state’ to the north should relent in its efforts to overthrow the Venezuelan government and punish the Venezuelan people for not collaborating with its schemes.
The article by the Washington Post states that:
“Venezuela’s once powerful oil industry is literally falling apart, with years of mismanagement, corruption, falling prices and a U.S. embargo imposed last year bringing aging infrastructure to the brink of collapse…
(A) spate of oil industry troubles … have alarmed environmentalists here. They include a recent oil spill that has jeopardized corals and rare marine life off sensitive Morrocoy National Park, and a rusting vessel in the Gulf of Paria that observers call a ticking ecological time bomb. Analysts see a growing risk of more and larger spills in a country that has already suffered years of damage from broken wells and abandoned oil fields…
Particularly in recent years, a lack of spare parts, a brain drain of technicians and widespread corruption have crippled oil production and fuel refineries, making environmental accidents more common. Between 2010 and 2016, the state oil giant PDVSA was responsible for more than 46,000 spills of crude and other pollutants, according to the Caracas-based human rights group Provea…”
The Venezuelan media could make many similar observations about the many ecological catastrophes caused by the disaster capitalism fracking industry in the failed State to the north. They might even note that the US has exported thousands of ecological disasters all around the world with its imperial wars and global network of military bases.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Georgia has published another hit piece in the propaganda war on ‘How Maduro has destroyed Venezuela’. The notice refers to a study conducted by a Catholic University in Venezuela’s capital that describes rampant poverty, unemployment and lack of essential goods and services:
“The 2019–2020 National Survey of Living Conditions (ENCOVI, for Encuesta Nacional de Condiciones de Vida) — published by researchers at Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas — details how basic infrastructure, the labor market and education have deteriorated since 2014.
The United Nations estimates that 7 million Venezuelans — 25 percent of the population — are in need of humanitarian assistance, while an astonishing 96 percent of Venezuelans live in poverty, according to ENCOVI.
Daily water and electricity are increasingly unavailable, according to the report…”
The deluge of similar reports by corporate and government media outlets suggest that SouthCom’s ‘Masterstroke’ plan is still operating at full throttle.
A ‘top secret’ document entitled “Plan to Overthrow the Venezuelan Dictatorship ‘Masterstroke’” received substantial coverage by the ‘alternative’ press in Latin America in 2018. The document is dated the 23rd of February 2018 and apparently was edited and approved by Kurt Tidd, commander of United States Southern Command (‘SouthCom’).
The report describes the full scope and ruthlessness of the United States’ disruptive economic, social and political actions to destabilize and overthrow the Venezuelan government and anticipates the possibility of an even more dramatic escalation in intensity and scale. For instance, in order to undermine “the decadent popular support to Government”:
“Encouraging popular dissatisfaction by increasing scarcity and rise in price of the foodstuffs, medicines and other essential goods for the inhabitants. Making more harrowing and painful the scarcities of the main basic merchandises…” (pp.2-3)
In the section on ‘Information Strategy’ the report emphasizes the importance of “keeping the harassment to the Dictator as the only responsible of the crisis in which he has submerged the nation” (p.9), and in another section states the intention to “expose him as a puppet of Cuba” (p.3). The unlikely spectre of the small Caribbean island taking over the Latin American continent piece by piece as conquered dominions still has a surprising amount of currency in the mainstream press and among right wing sectors.
Also reflecting the regional significance and implications of related developments, the report includes as part of the ‘Information Strategy’ proclaiming the failure of regional “mechanisms of integration created by the regimens of Cuba and Venezuela, specially the ALBA and PETROCARIBE”, along with “strengthening the image of the OAS” and other multilateral institutions and agreements in the region that are compatible with and subservient to the US’ interests and objectives (p.10).
In terms of the international dimensions of the strategy, the report declares that other components include:
“Fully obstructing imports… Appealing to domestic allies as well as other people inserted from abroad in the national scenario in order to generate protests, riots and insecurity, plunders, thefts, assaults and highjacking of vessels as well as other means of transportation with the intention of deserting this country in crisis through all borderlands and other possible ways, jeopardizing in such a way the National Security of neighbouring frontier nations. Causing victims and holding the Government responsible for them. Magnifying, in front of the world, the humanitarian crisis in which the country has been submitted to…” (pp.4-5)
The various methods and tactics outlined in the strategic document still correspond exactly with the tone and content of the latest flood of corporate and State media and statements denouncing the Venezuelan government.
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