Having strangled Venezuela’s economy with its ever expanding sanctions, the US have now volunteered to negotiate a $10 billion trade aid package to give to Caracas – but not until its own protege is in power.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stated that the US has been leading the effort to salvage the Venezuelan economy, which his own country has been choking off with the long and continuously growing list of punitive measures. The help will only be available to the “new government” of self-proclaimed “interim president” Juan Guaido, who Washington has been backing in a push for regime change in Caracas.
“We’re going to be working on trying to put together a consortium of about $10 billion of trade finance that would be available for the new government to spark trade,” Mnuchin said.
Venezuela has been battling with soaring inflation, which made basic goods unaffordable for the general public and gave rise to a flourishing black market. A shortage of food and water as well as near-daily blackouts triggered mass migration from Venezuela, as its economy lies in tatters. The economic woes have been exacerbated by political turmoil, with the US and its allies betting on Guaido to exploit the economic hardship and incite a coup against the elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Mnuchin was speaking several days after the fifth meeting of 20 finance minister from the group of the so-called “friends of Venezuela” that he hosted at the Treasury Department on Thursday. The meeting also featured the chief of Guadio’s economic advisers, Dr. Ricardo Hausmann.