Disinfo: Venezuela crisis caused by US sanctions


The crisis in Venezuela is caused by US sanctions and asset seizures, which together amount to an economic war on the Latin American country.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Venezuela. The current and most acute stage of the Venezuelan economic crisis was caused largely by the 2014 oil price crash. However, the national economy had suffered from mismanagement and over-reliance on crude exports since at least mid-2000s; shortages of consumer goods -- which had become a chronic issue by 2010 -- have been linked to government and military corruption, overspending, and price controls. By the time the first round of US sanctions was imposed in 2017, the Maduro administration had already started deploying the term "economic war" to explain away its own policy failures and to trivialise the scale of the crisis. A 2015 government pamphlet dismissed inflation as a "fascist" concept that "does not exist in real life" (pp. 5, 8), and gave assurances that money-printing was a sound fiscal practice (p. 7).  


  • Reported in: Issue 142
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 19/03/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Venezuela, US
  • Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Economic difficulties, Sanctions


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Poroshenko plans an attack against OSCE to get a pretext for cancelling the elections

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has decided to employ a plan to cancel the elections and advance his positions in Donbas. The spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk reports that they posses intelligence data confirming Ukraine planning to targeting an OSCE patrol with an explosive device, placed on the road. This way, Poroshenko would have a pretext to cancel the elections. OSCE would withdraw its personnel from Donbas and leave the field open for Ukraine’s army.      


Conspiracy theory, presented without any evidence. Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation about the Ukraine elections 2019. See EUvsDisinfo coverage of narratives about Ukrainian elections here.  

Russophobic fascist West wants Ukraine to destroy Moscow

The Russophobic collective West currently pursues the same policy towards the Ukrainian authorities as it did in 1938 towards Nazi Germany, that is the policy of appeasement and pushing for war with Russia. The anti-human/anti-Russian policy of Ukrainian nationalists is a manifestation of European values. Through the calls to destroy Moscow, Ukrainian nationalists voice the secret intentions of the so called Western democracies. In reality, Western countries have nothing to do with democracy, they pursue fascist and racist policies.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narratives about western support of Ukrainian authorities as part of anti-Russian policy, about the West preparing a war against Russia, and about the Russophobic and Nazi collective West. See previous disinfo cases drawing parallels with Nazi Germany and the 1938 Munich agreement.  

2014 Crimea referendum on reunification with Russia was democratic and held in compliance with international norms

In 2014, Crimean residents voted for the reunification with Russia in a democratic manner and in full compliance with the UN Charter and international law.


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on the illegal annexation of Crimea. No international body recognises the so-called referendum, announced on 27th of February and held less than three weeks later. On March 27th 2014, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in which it stated that the referendum in Crimea was not valid and could not serve as a basis for any change in the status of the peninsula. Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, recognised April 17th 2015 that "our soldiers were deployed in Crimea to help the inhabitants express their opinion" (Interfax). Vladimir Putin admitted that the plan to annex Crimea was ordered weeks before the so-called referendum. See here for the EU statement on the fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation.