Self-proclaimed “Interim President” Juan Guaido and the Venezuelan opposition have been given US $52 million by the Trump administration. According to a statement from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the funding will be destined for independent media, civil society, the health sector and the opposition-controlled National Assembly. The new aid package dovetails with a fresh round of US sanctions against Venezuela’s oil sector.
With presidential elections announced in Venezuela, the US State Department moved quickly to declare that the contest would not be recognised. But less than a year ago the tune was quite different, as a cursory look through State Department briefings and press releases will show. We also examine how political developments from the past year have led to the current scenario, and how US demands for “free and fair” elections are not only arrogant and hypocritical but also misleading.