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Mar 5, 2019

U.S. Embassy Separates Fact from Fiction on Venezuela

Keith Gilges

Today, the U.S. Embassy in Belize released a four-minute video message called “The Truth about Venezuela.”  Chargé d’Affaires Keith Gilges talks about what the U.S. sees as facts and fiction in the ongoing political unrest and economic turmoil in Venezuela. The future of this once oil-rich country hangs in the balance as food and medicine shortages and hyperinflation have become synonymous with embattled President Nicolas Maduro’s administration. Back in January, Opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself as the country’s interim president, a claim backed by the U.S. and fifty other countries.  Guaido had left Venezuela, but returned on Monday despite threats of being jailed.  In this video, the U.S. harshly criticizes Maduro’s leadership outlining that his re-election last year was fraudulent. Here’s a snippet of the video shared by the U.S. Embassy.

 

Keith Gilges, Charge’d Affaires, U.S. Embassy

“The people of Venezeula have suffered at the hands of Maduro and his regime. Maduro’s policies led to hyperinflation, food shortages, and a public health crisis forcing millions of Venezuelan people to flee the country. The number of Venezuelans seeking refugee status worldwide has increased four thousand percent since 2014, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees. Inflation in Venezuela passed one million percent in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund and ninety-percent of the Venezuelans are unable to purchase enough food on a daily basis to feed their families On February 25th, Vice President Pence announced that the United States is providing nearly fifty-six million dollars in additional humanitarian assistance to support the Venezuelans who have fled the country due to the political and economic crisis caused by Nicolas Maduro. It is Maduro’s disastrous economic policies and the actions of his oppressive regime alone that are directly responsible for Venezuela’s collapse. Maduro lost his legitimacy by staging sham elections in May 2018. He jailed opposition leaders, suppressed the media and rigged the electoral process. Juan Guaido, who served the people of Venezuela as the president of the national assembly – the only democratically elected body left in Venezuela – is the legitimate interim president of Venezuela.”

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