Study Linking US Sanctions to Venezuelan Deaths Buried by Reuters for Over a Month

June 16, 2019 in News by Slad

source: fair.org
by 

I emailed Stephanie Nebehay of Reuters on May 22 about her article, “Venezuela Turns to Russia, Cuba, China in Health Crisis” (5/22/19). Her article depicted the impact of US sanctions as an allegation that Venezuelan government officials are alone in making. The article stated:

The opposition blames [medical shortages] on economic incompetence and corruption by the leftist movement in power for two decades, but [President Nicolás] Maduro says US economic sanctions are the cause.

I asked why the piece made no mention of a study (CEPR, 4/25/19) released a month earlier by economists Mark Weisbrot and Jeffrey Sachs, which directly linked US sanctions to 40,000 deaths in Venezuela since August of 2017.

Her reply to me on May 23 was quite telling:

I was not aware of that study, but am now and will bear in mind.

It would indeed have been impossible for a Reuters reporter to be aware of the study if they depended only on Reuters articles to keep informed. The news agency hadn’t mentioned the study since it was released, never mind written an article about it.

I asked a contact I have at Reuters about this, and he was also surprised that Reuters hadn’t even mentioned the study. He suggested I query some of Reuters’ Venezuela-based reporters, which I did a few days later.

In my email to them, I passed along a list of news articles since August 2017, when Trump first dramatically intensified economic sanctions, that described worsening economic conditions. I also noted that though the Sachs/Weisbrot study was ignored by Reuters, it had been intensely debated in public by Venezuelan opposition economists (i.e., the kind of people Reuters and other Western media actually pay attention to on Venezuela).