On 6 February, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo urged Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro to open the country’s borders to US “humanitarian aid”. The request came after Venezuelan troops blockaded a bridge on the country’s border with Colombia:
The Venezuelan people desperately need humanitarian aid. The U.S. & other countries are trying to help, but #Venezuela’s military under Maduro's orders is blocking aid with trucks and shipping tankers. The Maduro regime must LET THE AID REACH THE STARVING PEOPLE. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/L4ysYJaM6H
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) February 6, 2019
But after decades of US interference, years of economic sanctions, and an ongoing coup attempt in the country, can Pompeo’s offer of “humanitarian aid” really be trusted?
Using “humanitarian aid” to smuggle arms
The mainstream media has predictably portrayed Washington’s offer of “aid” as noble and well-intentioned. Meanwhile, it paints Maduro as a stubborn tyrant, starving his country of vital resources.
CNBC described Maduro’s actions as a “dramatic attempt to prevent a delivery of humanitarian aid”. The Independent reported matter-of-factly that Maduro closed the border “to stop humanitarian aid entering”. Other outlets like the Guardian failed to mention that “humanitarian aid” would hardly scratch the surface of the crippling effects US sanctions are already having on the country.
But most importantly, the media comprehensively failed to mention that the US has previously used “humanitarian aid” programmes to covertly attack left-wing governments in Latin America. And none other than Elliott Abrams, recently appointed Washington’s special envoy for Venezuela, was at the centre of it all.'
Read more: Bombshell revelation suggests there’s nothing humanitarian about US ‘aid’ to Venezuela