RIA Novosti, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RT, REN TV, and other pro-Kremlin publications ran articles titled “The United States wants to seize Venezuelan oil by any means,” referring to material published on the Rebelion website by a journalist named Edelberto López Blanch.
The journalist explains that all attempts by the Venezuelans to overthrow the power of Nicolas Maduro are nothing more than the machinations of Washington, which is not satisfied with the fact that the Venezuelan authorities control oil production in the country.
“Such “independence”, of course, has irritated international companies and the US government for almost 25 years, which cannot take advantage of these deposits located in close proximity to the territory of a fading empire and enrich themselves at the expense of them,” writes Edelberto López Blanch.
Let's remember the background. The political crisis in Venezuela came to a head in 2018 after incumbent Nicolás Maduro dissolved the National Assembly (Venezuela's legislature), held early elections (in February 2018) and banned major opposition parties from participating - all of which amid widespread protests. Since the elections were held with obvious violations, most countries of the world (the United States, the Organization of American States, the EU countries, etc.) refused to recognize Maduro as president and recognized the president of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, as acting leader of the country. Maduro was opposed not only by ordinary citizens and deputies, but also by more than two dozen National Guardsmen. However, the protests were violently suppressed, with nearly 1,000 people arrested and more than 100 killed in 2019. Despite additional sanctions imposed by the US and other countries, Maduro remained in power.
The author of an article cited in the Russian media cites two sources to support his arguments: former US President Donald Trump, who regretted at a meeting with his supporters that the United States failed to get to Venezuela's oil reserves as a result of the events of 2019, and also to the first vice -President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela Diosdado Cabello, who is considered the second most powerful person in the country after Maduro.
“The reality, as Diosdado Cabello, the first vice-president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, stated, is that the more than 400 “sanctions” imposed by the United States and its allies against Caracas “are not related to the issue of human rights, democracy or the existing dictatorship”, but “ seizing the country's oil wealth,” says Blanch.
However, neither the words of Trump nor the words of Cabello can be a confirmation of the intentions of the current US presidential administration. Trump is no longer the leader of the country, moreover, he is known for his scandalous statements, and Cabello is personally under US sanctions, including for ties with the large Venezuelan drug cartel Los Soles.
As for the Rebelion portal itself, it is not a mass media, but a non-commercial news site, which mainly publishes reprints of articles from other publications. It was created in Spain in 1996 and positions itself as an alternative source of information. All of Rebelion's articles focus primarily on criticism of capitalism, US foreign policy, and "Zionism." In 2008, the site was blacklisted by Wikipedia - that is, links to it could not be inserted into the electronic encyclopedia. Wikipedia called Rebelion a "non-neutral and unverifiable" source. The blacklisters further clarified that the Spanish site is not a reliable source of information because "anyone can write an article there."