Abrams calls to ‘imagine’ Venezuela with billions of dollars from US and without Maduro
US Special Representative to Venezuela Elliott Abrams called for the removal of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, and said tens of billions in foreign investment could pour into the country as a result of his ouster.
“In the future, billions of dollars will be invested in Venezuela to rebuild the agricultural and industrial sectors," Abrams said in a keynote address to the Atlantic Council, but added the process “can only start when there is a fully inclusive government that represents all Venezuelans.”
“What is stopping the beginning of rebuilding and reconciliation? Some questions are hard; that one is easy. The short answer is: Nicolas Maduro.”
Abrams dug deep and gave his best John Lennon impression, asking his audience to “imagine” a free and prosperous Venezuela with clean water, enough food and a stable currency.
Painting a picture of Venezuela's future, Abrams says the everyday lives of its citizens could be improved with a stabilized currency, reliable power, clean water, connectivity without censorship, and other developments. #ACVenezuela 5/ pic.twitter.com/ryPKsI4QVH— Atlantic Council (@AtlanticCouncil) April 25, 2019
An international coalition – 50 countries by Abrams’ count – has thrown support behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January and soon after made overtures to US military intervention in the country. Abrams told the Council that Guaido has a vision for Venezuela “where liberty reigns.”
Abrams called for a three-pronged approach, dealing with a political transition, the role of the military in governance and turning around the country’s economy. Maduro’s removal from power and improvements to the economy “will not be an easy or quick project, but yes it is possible,” he said.
Humanitarian aid sits at the country’s borders “ready to flow,” Abrams added, slamming leaders of the ruling socialist PSUV party for living in luxury while average citizens suffer a failing economy, a situation he called “unacceptable.”
Washington last year imposed a round of sanctions on Venezuela, cutting the country off from the American financial system and making its economic situation all the more dire.Also on rt.com Civilians are the real victims (and targets) of Trump’s Venezuela sanctions
Abrams has a history of using aid shipments as Trojan horses for the delivery of weapons to opposition. He pioneered the technique during the Reagan administration’s covert war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, arranging to have weapons destined for the US-backed Contra rebels ferried into the country on “humanitarian aid” planes – a deception he has defended as “strictly by the book.” Venezuelan authorities have already accused the US of trying to sneak weapons into the country after a small arsenal was discovered aboard a plane landing in Valencia that belonged to an American freight company with alleged CIA links, and the Red Cross has asked non-affiliated organizations to stop using its logo to evade authorities’ scrutiny.
Non-US countries have been delivering humanitarian aid to Venezuela since Guaido declared himself president in January – though the assistance of these nations gets little mention in American news coverage – necessitated at least in part by US sanctions that have choked Venezuela’s economy nearly to death over the past 20 years as punishment for experimenting with socialism.
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