Lecture: COVID-19 and the Economic War against Venezuela

Lecture: COVID-19 and the Economic War against Venezuela

By Cliff DuRand


In the midst of the pandemic, the war against Venezuela has been escalating. The Obama Administration’s regime change efforts against the Bolivarian Revolution have been intensified under President Trump. U.S. sanctions have driven Venezuela’s oil exports to their lowest levels in nearly 80 years, starving President Nicolas Maduro’s government of its primary revenue source. In mid-July, U.S. Special Envoy Elliott Abrams threatened to “go after” shipping companies that continue to transport Venezuelan oil. 


On July 2, a decision by the U.K.’s High Court blocked the Venezuelan Central Bank’s efforts to repatriate gold reserves being held by the Bank of England on the pretext that the U.K. recognizes U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó—an opposition figure who has appointed himself “interim president”—as Venezuela’s leader. The government had planned to sell the gold, valued at an estimated US$1.2 billion, and transfer the proceeds to the United Nations Development Programme in order to import food, medicines, and healthcare equipment needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.


Venezuela remains one of the countries in the region least devastated by the pandemic—so far. However, cases are rising steadily, and, stripped of much-needed economic resources, the Venezuelan healthcare system is struggling to save human lives during the crisis. Despite the sanctions and aggressive Washington policy, the Bolivarian Revolution remains committed to building a new society based on human solidarity and the interests of the majority. 


All this will be discussed in a Center for Global Justice webinar. Speakers will be a representative of the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico and Tamara Pearson, an Australian journalist living in Puebla. They will provide an update on the situation in Venezuela. This is a weekly program on a variety of social issues featuring thought-provoking thinkers. The Center for Global Justice is devoted to research and learning for a better world. We offer these webinars every Monday at 1pm


Tune in at www.globaljusticecenter.org. You can also view past programs there.