By Gregory Wilpert
GREG WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Greg Wilpert in Baltimore.
Venezuela spent the early months of this year almost constantly in the international media’s headlines. This was largely due to several attempts of the Venezuelan opposition to overthrow the government of president Nicolas Maduro. This opposition effort began when the opposition’s president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaido, declared himself to be president of Venezuela, and eventually 50 out of 200 countries around the world decided to recognize him as such.
This was followed with what now amounts to draconian U.S. economic sanctions against Venezuela. The sanctions halted all Venezuelan oil exports to the United States, once Venezuela’s largest market for oil, and is threatening all countries and companies with secondary sanctions if they do business with Venezuela. A large part of Guaido’s claim to the presidency, and why other countries decided to recognize it, rests on the argument that Maduro was not elected in free and fair elections in May of 2018. One of the bases for these claims is that there is limited press freedom in Venezuela.
Here at The Real News Network, we actually…