|By yet another Executive Order (EO) on 5thAugust 2019, President Donald Trump has imposed a total blockade of Venezuela. This is ostensibly against its government but in reality against its people.
The Executive Order de facto confiscates all assets that belong to the Venezuelan state within the territory under US jurisdiction: saying they are “blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.”
The EO further prohibits any transactions with Venezuelan authorities whose assets are blocked. Included in this are the making or the receipt “of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, or services by, to, or for the benefit of any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order.”
This means that in addition to the illegal confiscation of Venezuelan assets, the Trump administration aims to also punish individuals, companies, entities or countries doing business with Venezuela.
National Security Adviser John Bolton publicly explained the intent and reach of the total blockade against Venezuela, with its threat to all nations in the world willing to do business with the elected government of President Maduro.
Venezuela’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel Moncada, characterised the latest US aggression as “arbitrary economic terrorism against the people of Venezuela,” with the intention to bring about “regime change” which violate all key principles of the UN Charter and international law.
Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, has called upon the UN General Secretary and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to condemn this grave attack which is a threat to the peace, sovereignty and human rights of the people of Venezuela.
Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Secretary Francisco Dominguez said:
“This new set of US aggressions violate all basic and fundamental principles of the UN Charter and international law, but in a sort of perverse way it confirm the inability of the Trump administration to bring about “regime change” in Venezuela, thus bringing intense frustration among Washington’s hawks, and hence the imposition of total blockade.”
“The measure is targeted to punish the whole of the Venezuelan people since it seeks deliberately to deny Venezuela precious resources, which will dramatically affect Venezuela’s capacity to import foodstuffs and medicines. The intention seems to be to starve the people of Venezuela into submission.”
The Trump administration is already discussing targeting sanctions on companies in Brazil, Mexico and elsewhere that supply food to Venezuela. Additionally, it has also floated the possibility of applying a naval blockade, and a full-scale US military invasion. In other words, in addition to the raft of measures of economic terrorism, the Trump administration has contingency plans of unleashing war against the people of Venezuela.
US illegal economic sanctions and the sweeping confiscation of Venezuelan assets in the US have placed thousands of people at risk, with one report showing that because of the sanctions 40,000 Venezuelans died between 2017 and 2018. The imposition of the total blockade will put further at risk millions of people, especially the poorest, and the most vulnerable.
The US should immediate cease the aggression against the people of Venezuela and should immediately and unconditionally lift all its thoroughly unjustified, illegal and criminal sanctions. We call upon the British government not to be complicit in this aggression, which constitutes a crime against humanity, and we call upon the UN General Secretary and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to publicly and unequivocally condemn it.
Now is the time to take forward our campaigning against US criminal sanctions.
Say No to Trump’s Blockade of Venezuela
By Tony Burke, Venezuela Solidarity Campaign Chair and Unite AGS
Following the abject failure of the recent U.S. backed coup, the self-appointed Venezuelan ‘interim president’, Juan Guaidó had nowhere to go.
The coup was the latest failed attempt backed by the US Trump administration to force ‘regime change’ in Venezuela and drive out the elected president Nicola Maduro.
Trump’s man Guaidó was still not installed in the presidential palace and reports were that Trump was losing patience. But the Trump administration has made ‘regime change’ in Venezuela a priority – regularly threatening military action to this end – and with the failure of the coup attempt Trump has now again decided to up the stakes by imposing a full economic embargo on the government and people of Venezuela.
Trump’s latest Executive Order announced this week is a further extension of the US’ comprehensive and harsh sanctions regime against Venezuela.
A study published by the well-respected US Centre For Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) has found that Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela may have already killed more than 40,000 citizens in the last two years depriving them of medicines, medical equipment, food, and other essential imports.
Now, ordinary people are going to be hit even harder by Trump’s latest aggression.
The new measures include blocks on all property and assets of the government and its officials, and prohibits any transactions with them, including the Venezuelan Central Bank and the state oil company.
Extremely significant is that it could also lead to sanctions against companies and third parties who do legitimate business with the country.
Trump’s actions in this regard – which also affects onto other countries and their companies – now put Venezuela in the same category as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, which are the only other countries who are subject to a full U.S. embargo and blockade
The Venezuelan economy is already under extreme strain by U.S. sanctions, but these new set of sanctions are designed not just to destroy the Venezuelan economy – they are also designed to hit the Venezuelan people hard.
The message from Trump to the Venezuelan people is simple – if you want to live, then support Trump’s ‘regime change’ agenda.
As VSC has pointed out on a number of occasions, Trump’s acts are illegal under U.S. and International law and international treaties.
John Bolton (Trump’s National Security Advisor) told an audience in Peru this week that such sanctions worked in Panama and Nicaragua (once) “and it will work there [Nicaragua] again, and it will work in Venezuela and Cuba!”
It is clear that Trump and his right-wing administration are now ready to wage a massive economic war against the elected Government and people of Venezuela and any country who stands in their way. It is another illegal coup attempt that cannot be allowed to succeed.