Why The US Is Sanctioning Venezuela

Why The US Is Sanctioning Venezuela

Narrator: Venezuela has been suffering a humanitarian crisis for years. The situation is so dire that an estimated 3 million Venezuelans have fled their homeland. After the country’s economy collapsed in 2014, it’s been
plagued by hyperinflation as well as food and medicine
shortages and power outages. Narrator: And at the heart
of it all are two men, Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro and the leader of his
opposition, Juan Guaidó. For years, Maduro denied
the country’s issues and blocked aid deliveries
coming from most countries. Guaidó set up a parallel government and pledged to deliver aid. Other countries got involved and pushed the UN to intervene. Mike Pence: It’s time for
the United Nations to act. Narrator: In April, Maduro finally acknowledged
the country’s crisis and allowed the Red Cross to deliver aid. Things haven’t always been
this way in Venezuela. In fact, its large oil
reserves once made it one of the richest countries in Latin America. So what happened? It starts with Hugo Chávez. He was elected as president
of Venezuela in 1998, in large part thanks to his
21st century-socialism message that promised to clean up corruption and balance economic inequality. As it happens, fortune was on his side. Will Martin: So Hugo Chávez came to power in Venezuela in 1999, and that coincided with a really big spike in oil prices in 2000. So effectively what happened is that overnight, Venezuela managed to have pretty much
double the oil revenues that it had previously, which allowed Chávez to
fund a lot of the spending that he’d pledged in
his election campaigns. Narrator: The country was booming, but it was spending money
faster than it was coming in. Martin: The issue with Venezuela is that they spent so quickly that the tax revenues weren’t able to keep up with government spending, which created this big gap. Narrator: Then on March 5,
2013, Chávez passed away. It was his fourth term in office. Nicolás Maduro was voted
into office a month later when the country’s luck was drying up. Martin: What had happened
in the intervening years is that the Chávez presidency
had nationalized a lot of the country’s businesses, manufacturing plants, that sort of thing, and was therefore relying
very heavily on oil to bring in revenue for the government. Beatrice Christofaro: So
when oil prices plunged, suddenly the government didn’t have money to pay for the social programs that were so popular
amongst the lower classes. But also, it didn’t even have the money to import all the things that it needed. Venezuela really imports almost all of its basic necessities, from food to medicine, cars, all of that. So when suddenly all
this oil revenue wasn’t coming in anymore, the country was faced with severe shortages. Narrator: The shortages were so severe that a national survey found
that between 2015 and 2016, 74% of respondents lost
an average of 19 pounds. At the same time, Maduro’s opposition was
swiftly gaining strength. In 2015, they gained a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, threatening Maduro’s
position as president. In response, Maduro
stacked the Supreme Court with justices on his side. Then in 2017, Maduro created the National
Constituent Assembly that would rewrite the
constitution and effectively bypass the opposition-controlled
National Assembly. And to make things worse,
hyperinflation set in. It’s basically like inflation on steroids. Prices increase more and at a faster rate. For example, in August of 2018, a roll of toilet paper in Caracas
cost 2.6 million bolívars, the equivalent of 40 American cents. The bolívar is so devalued that Venezuelans need large sums of cash to buy small amounts of items. Martin: And so basically,
that’s the issue is that Venezuelans can’t afford the goods and services they need to live
basic, normal, happy lives. Narrator: In January of
2019, tensions grew even more when the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, claimed the presidency, citing emergency powers
in the constitution. The US quickly backed Guaidó, and Maduro responded by
ordering all US diplomats out of the country. Christofaro: About 50
countries, including the US, the UK, a lot of Latin American countries, have recognized Juan Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela, which is significant in the sense that it shows that he has
international support, that his government is
considered legitimate by a lot of people. Narrator: But there’s another problem. Maduro still controls the military. And beyond the military’s strength, its officers hold influential
positions in the government. In February, Maduro blocked aid coming from the Colombian border. Later in the month, he closed
the southeastern border, again blocking aid from
entering the country because the government
thought admitting aid would basically mean admitting defeat. Christofaro: The government has also said that if they were to accept US aid or from any other imperialist country, they would be acknowledging that Guaidó’s government is legitimate. Narrator: There was backlash
against Maduro’s leadership. Hugo Carvajal, Venezuela’s
former intelligence chief, called out Maduro, making accusations that his inner circle is corrupt. Christofaro: All the
high-ranking officers, which Guaidó actually needs on his side, feel very comfortable in
this position of power that they’ve had. Of course, under Maduro,
they have a lot of power, but they’ve also been implicated in a lot of problematic things such as corruption and are just afraid that if they go to the other side, they might be reprimanded for that. Narrator: In a New York Times op-ed, Guaidó said he has been secretly meeting with members of the armed forces and has offered amnesty to defectors who have not committed
crimes against humanity. Christofaro: Right now, he
is trying to oust Maduro, and they’ve been in this
political tug of war for the past few months
where he has been meeting with international leaders, where he has been appointing
opposition ambassadors around the world and has been
calling for mass protests, and his goal right now
is to get the military on his side and to call for new elections. Narrator: The US is Venezuela’s
largest oil customer and is supporting Guaidó by
imposing financial sanctions, directing US companies to withhold payment from Maduro’s state-owned oil company. Steven Mnuchin: We will
continue to use all of our diplomatic and economic tools to support interim President Guaidó, the National Assembly, and the
Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore their democracy. Narrator: In April, the US enacted another round of sanctions, trying to prevent Maduro’s government from trading oil for Cuban
intelligence services, and Vice President Mike Pence
lobbied the UN to back Guaidó. Pence: And so the United States is calling on the United Nations to live up to its very purpose, reject
the failed leadership of Nicolas Maduro, stand with us, stand with nations across the world, across this hemisphere, to help the people of Venezuela
forge a brighter future. Narrator: A week later, with 7 million Venezuelans living in need of humanitarian aid, Maduro reversed his aid policy, allowing the Red Cross to
start a large-scale effort to feed and provide medical attention throughout the country. However, Venezuela is still in one of the worst economic
depressions in modern history. The International Monetary
Fund has predicted the country’s economy will
shrink by 25% this year. Narrator: This crisis is far from over. The country’s infrastructure
and economy need repair. But the Red Cross intends
to fight malnutrition and disease in what it
estimates will be one of its largest humanitarian efforts since the beginning of
the Syrian Civil War.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. Perfect time to invade and colonize. Kill the old, hard labor for the young and whore off the woman.

    – The End

  2. If anyone says this is socialism- just know this is what happens during a TOTALITARIAN government.
    Socialism is defined as just having government ran programs, not when the government takes control of the economy and takes away private ownership.

  3. How a country's military and judicial powers can be corrupted and act against people?
    Maduro . worst leader of this century. All nation should join hands for the betterment of venezuelans.

  4. accepting SOCIALISM as a response to corruption is WRONG, the country is taken over by the parasite SOCIALIST guest… Cuba

  5. Venezuela suffering from Humanitarian crisis? how about Palestine , Syria , Iraq and the list goes on. All i got to say what a typical western media.😂

  6. It’s not about Maduro. it’s about the Venezuelan people. The sanctions are hurting the poorest, not Maduro. Remove the US sanctions and the Venezuelan economy will stabilize.

  7. BECAUSE THEY WANT THEIR OIL https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/04/trump-suggested-invading-venezuela-report

  8. Fake News,Venezuela always wanted the Aid to come through Red Cross President Nicolás Maduro never stopped it he wanted it, We all know about the other aid coming from USA and friends. So its funny How News can twist the story to make Maduro feel like he's finally giving in to world pressure.

  9. They are being sanctioned because the empire (America) wants their oil. This video makes no sense. The price of oil declines 50% and all of sudden they can't afford food? Come on now people. Open your eyes a little bit. Stop being willing participants to the empire's misdeeds even if you benefit from it.

  10. It's not rocket science: https://money.usnews.com/investing/news/articles/2019-03-12/pompeo-calls-on-oil-industry-to-support-us-foreign-policy-agenda

  11. Pompeo Admits "We Lied, We Cheated, We Stole” In The CIA & Venezuela Shows Us He Never Stopped, and Jimmy Carter ex President of USA and one out two USA Presidents of past, was never involved in any wars while they were in power, and said Venezuela has the most legitimate voting system in the world

  12. Do to the sanctions imposed bye the United States Of Terrorism to try to overthrow a legitimate elected president Maduro the United States Of Terrorism has become the worlds worst security guard.

  13. The US put sanctions on a country and do not allow other countries to trade with it either. You created this mess and now you try to blame the government. Shame on you.


  15. This is because of US sanctions. Lift the sanctions and problem over. The US WANTS THE OIL, THAT IS ALL and they will do anything to get it. BI is promoting propaganda here.

  16. We should outlaw unions in the US, what's the point? If capitalism is so fair then the free market will take care of them 😆

  17. yeah, its all because of oil… why also not help Asia and Africa and other Latin American countries… I'm starting to think Guaido is a puppet of Donald Trump

  18. Sanctions only kills the economy and the civilians are the ones that suffer, not the government officials. There maybe a rebellion and it will cost lives thanks to a civil war. I'm from Myanmar, our country was a subject of US sanctions just because we don't obey the US.

  19. There is a lot of what appears to be intentional false reporting in this story in order to advocate for a violent approach to Venezuela. Positive Universe carries news articles daily from dozens of progressive sites that give the other side of the story.

  20. So the US is withholding payments but still accepting their oil. How hypocritical.

    Not only that but the US was the cause of this whole situation.

  21. And the dems are trying to change our constitution to bypass to make us like them for total control. Who will come to our aid?

  22. This piece is riddled with right-wing neocon talking points, all of which are constantly refuted by scholars and real journalists outside the corporate bubble. Test it out. Take each point and research it outside the lazy and obedient corporate media who are just stenographers for the war economy. You can get plenty of leads from the Positive Universe news network.

  23. The United States should take them all in. Makes sense and will drive our economy through the roof for decades.

  24. The documentary is not showering any light about the importance of not losing agriculture..
    That should have been the title actually..

  25. Why do you interfere with the Venezuela bussines? It makes nonsense to give sanctions for a country that struggle for economic crisis.

  26. The USA labeled Maduro a dictator and then DICTATED that nations new leader.

    I do believe your nation has devolved to the point where you cant even tell basic lies anymore.

  27. It's all about oil. The oil companies who use the US Government Armed Forces as a bully to invade nations and steal resources are after Venezuela's oil. The current Venezuelan government overthrew the oligarchs that impoverished the people and took back the natural resources of the nation and became the agent for selling it. The profits are used to pay all the taxes of the nation and the proceeds have been used to rebuild the nation. They were taking people out of shacks and into real homes. The building boom added jobs. This entire story is a propaganda piece and it's nothing but lies. The history of the Bolivarian revolution is that it freed many nations in South America from being colonies of Spain, and as such sending all their profit to Spain. Just like England was sucking American colonies dry, Spain was sucking South America dry. This modern "Bolivarian" revolution was the same spirit. In the 20th century the world bank and world economy, run by American interest; was sucking Venezuela dry. Americans need to learn their history before they sit back for a chat with their friends and pontificate upon another nation's trevails. American sanctions have impoverished Venezuela AND Cuba. But because a bunch of cranks in Florida lost their casinos and drug routing platforms in those nations, they foment war to regain such. Those are the neocons but we used to call them a mafia. The EX Pats of Florida. They killed JFK too if you give a d*mn.

  28. This entire video is PROPAGANDA….All the U.S. wants is CONTROL OF VENEZUELA'S Oil & natural resources like the GOLD….it's U.S. sanctions and outright theft of Venezuela's bank accounts & oil revenues that are HURTING THE VENEZUELAN PEOPLE….It's a CRIME what the U.S. is doing…

  29. let me get this straight, madura turned away aid because that would mean he would have to admit defeat? aid = free, governments usually horde food aid as to safeguard some stability. & they can distribute it to whom ever they want to give to ….or be like african governments and sell it in the open market for cash. this doesn't pass the smell test. in fact this narrative is flimsy. i urge people to listen to it again. something is amiss.

  30. How does anyone buy this b.s.? U.S just has to spend billions to overthrow a corrupt gov't…out of the good of their corrupted hearts.

  31. I hope you rightwing people on here realize that whatever is stolen from Venezuela won't go to you. These politicians and Koch bros will put any proceeds in their pocket and the American people will just pay the bill for this. Did you not learn that lesson after Iraq?

  32. "American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela’s economy and thereby lead to regime change. It’s a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people… Among the results of broad economic sanctions implemented by the Trump administration since August 2017 [are] an estimated more than 40,000 deaths," the study, issued by the US-based Center for Economic and Policy Research

  33. The one who make this country to suffer is USA not Russia, Russia is protecting this country to become Libya, we seen this before.

  34. okay, let me inlight you people who are screaming that America is evil and I don't know how many other stupidities! yeah, sure the Americans are after Venezuelan oil! we all know that, but what many of you don't know is that the situation in Venezuela in a nightmare! girls are being taken from their home by the military and locked there to be sex slaves for these men, people are literally starving in the street of Venezuela while Maduro and his thugs are enjoying a life of luxury! it is a well-known fact that Maduro and his people have stolen billions of dollars from Venezuela's people and banks , Venezuela got 450 million dollars in gold locked up in one of the most secured banks in London! last year Maduro asks for that gold which was denied, banks and other international leaders around the world are scared that Maduro wanted to steal the gold for himself! but other people think that members of other communist countries especially Russia are pressuring Maduro to get the gold!

  35. In Venezuela we are about 30Million inhabitants, 20Millions vote, Chavismo resolved to defend the Plan of the Bolivarian Socialist Homeland we add about 8Million, the opposition does not reach 7Million among all 6 parties named, but each with its own candidate. The popular classes most benefited by the social policies of the state are the most vulnerable and the middle-upper class social classes support the opposition or reject chavismo. In Venezuela there is a class struggle that has been resolved with the strength of DEMOCRATIC VOTE. Our economic crisis would be solved without the interference and continuous sabotage of the United States regime. We are determined to remain free and sovereign. We will not surrender because of hunger, nor because of fear, nor because of tiredness, and less because of false propaganda and false promises of the genocidal empire of the United States. If they bombard us, we will multiply with more strength in numbers, in votes and in friends, because we would be joined by other free and sovereign countries in defense of the largest oil and gold reserves in the world. It would start a 3rd world war. Are you willing to live with it in your consciousness?

  36. What this crisis shows me, not about oil, democracy or socialism, or east or west, but know your food supply or source is secure. All nations of the world, should look at this and know or learn that their food is secure for their nation. Instead of the money, make sure you have enough food for your people, so you wont be begging or asking other nations. I'm not kidding. The people that understand these are those that survive ww II. It's like war, Venezuela is going through.

  37. This is fake news. No mention of koch brothers, sanctions, Britain withholding their gold or the CIA planting assets in humanitarian cadres. Definitely no mention of the overt racism in Guidos party. This is a war on non white people to strip their wealth.

  38. I think another 10m should leave the country and let maduro continue their socialist agenda. With all the oil, they can continue spending . Then another 10m will also leave until they only have 10m people left. The remaining 10m can live like kings. Problems solved.

  39. US sanctions are causing the crisis in Venezuela and aid does get into Venezuela they don't want us involvement they are being bullied by USA with their racist Monroe doctrine

  40. people are literally dying by the hands of their own socialist government and the US is the bad guy? Yes there maybe oil but if that means rebuilding Venezuela and surging its economy then all power to the US. some of you guys are so blind by your ignorance

  41. If Venezuela didn't hold oil, the US wouldn't give half a shit about the country. This dwindling natural resource is a key player in this whole ordeal and I wonder how humanitarian aid will be allocated in the future when no oil is at stake.

  42. Nixon did it to oust democratically elected Allende (leading to Pinoches brutal decades long torture police) and Bush did it to oust Saddam (leading to chaos and a lost generation and many dead) and I'm sure many more times I'm forgetting. It's a Washington DC form of economic warfare to get what it wants. A new world order. That world is not a power to the people world.

  43. This is what will happen if you vote in Democrats. Socialism NEVER works. Keep America Great VOTE REPUBLICAN! VOTE TRUMP 2020

  44. I don't care if migrant children are sick talk to their parents they brought their children on this trip for their own use as sad poor people. It doesn't work dumb immigrants. Kids or no kids we still hate you.

  45. This is crazy and the sad thing is that too much emphasis is put on what DT is doing in the White House by CNN, Fox, mostly all major news media companies. I watch a ton of BBC and Fox news to find out what's really going on with the rest of the world

  46. I have a college friend from Venezuela. The family was rich. They are lucky that they earn USD, so they can afford more than most people. But they spend hours every day just exchanging money and getting basic groceries. It's really hard. And it's a bit of a trap. It's impossible to be productive at all.

  47. Aid has to be repayed (like a material version of a loan). Due to its immense oil reserves (and gold), countries like the U.S will likely only accept repayments in terms of ownership of oil wells and gold. This would ruin the nation as it would create huge inequalities that are uncontrollable as Foreign companies would legally own the Venezuelans natural source of revenue. This is neo-colonialism at work.

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