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venezuelanalysis.com: US sanctions on Venezuela

  • U.S. President Barack Obama Brands Venezuela a "Security Threat," Implements New Sanctions (Mar. 9 2015)

    “‘Venezuelan officials past and present who violate the human rights of Venezuelan citizens and engage in acts of public corruption will not be welcome here, and we now have the tools to block their assets and their use of U.S. financial systems,’ announced White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

    The U.S. has failed thus far to disclose evidence that might bolster its claims of human rights violations, leading Venezuelan and other regional leaders to condemn what they regard as the arbitrary and political character of U.S. sanctions.

    While regional bodies such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) have called for dialogue, Washington has so far refused to support negotiations or to recognise the organisation's stance.

    ‘We will continue to work closely with others in the region to support greater political expression in Venezuela, and to encourage the Venezuelan government to live up to its shared commitment, as articulated in the OAS Charter, the Inter American Democratic Charter, and other relevant instruments related to democracy and human rights,’ reads the latest White House statement.

    The order goes on to call for the release of all ‘political prisoners’ allegedly held by the Venezuelan government, including ‘dozens of students’.”

  • Castro, Correa and Morales Rally Behind Venezuela to Condemn US Sanctions (Mar. 10 2015)

    “The Cuban government has slammed the U.S. sanctions as ‘arbitrary and aggressive.’

    ‘How is Venezuela a threat to the United States? Thousands of kilometers away, without strategic weapons and without the resources … to conspire against the U.S. constitutional order; the (White House) declaration has little credibility,’ read a statement published in newspaper Granma on Tuesday.

    Former Cuban President Fidel Castro has also praised Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's ‘brilliant and valiant’ response to what he described as ‘brutal’ U.S. plans against Venezuela. The comments were made in a short letter to Maduro on Monday night.

    Earlier in the day, Bolivia's President Evo Morales said the regional blocs CELAC and UNASUR should immediately hold an ‘emergency meeting,’ arguing the U.S. sanctions pose a threat to ‘all of Latin America and the Caribbean.’

    ‘We condemn, we repudiate, in the 21st Century we won’t accept this kind of intervention by the United States,’ Morales said. ‘All of our solidarity and our support goes to President Maduro, and the revolutionary Bolivarian government and people of Venezuela.’

    UNASUR's head and other regional leaders including Ecuador's President Rafael Correa have already slammed the White House's decision to impose more sanctions on Venezuela.

    ‘An executive order by Obama declaring Venezuela a national security threat and declaring a national emergency to face this threat... It must be a bad joke, which reminds us of the darkest hours of our America, when we received invasions and dictatorships imposed by imperialism... Will they understand that Latin America has changed?’ said the Ecuadorean leader Tuesday through his Facebook account.”

  • Maybe Obama's Sanctions on Venezuela Are Not Really About His "Deep Concern" Over Suppression of Political Rights (Mar. 12 2015)

    “The White House on Monday announced the imposition of new sanctions on various Venezuelan officials, pronouncing itself ‘deeply concerned by the Venezuelan government’s efforts to escalate intimidation of its political opponents’: deeply concerned. President Obama also, reportedly with a straight face, officially declared that Venezuela poses ‘an extraordinary threat to the national security’ of the U.S. — a declaration necessary to legally justify the sanctions.

    Today, one of the Obama administration’s closest allies on the planet, Saudi Arabia, sentenced one of that country’s few independent human rights activists, Mohammed al-Bajad, to 10 years in prison on ‘terrorism’ charges. That is completely consistent with that regime’s systematic and extreme repression, which includes gruesome state beheadings at a record-setting rate, floggings and long prison terms for anti-regime bloggers, executions of those with minority religious views, and exploitation of terror laws to imprison even the mildest regime critics.

    Absolutely nobody expects the ‘deeply concerned’ President Obama to impose sanctions on the Saudis — nor on any of the other loyal U.S. allies from Egypt to the UAE whose repression is far worse than Venezuela’s. Perhaps those who actually believe U.S. proclamations about imposing sanctions on Venezuela in objection to suppression of political opposition might spend some time thinking about what accounts for that disparity.

    That nothing is more insincere than purported U.S. concerns over political repression is too self-evident to debate. Supporting the most repressive regimes on the planet in order to suppress and control their populations is and long has been a staple of U.S. (and British) foreign policy. ‘Human rights’ is the weapon invoked by the U.S. Government and its loyal media to cynically demonize regimes that refuse to follow U.S. dictates, while far worse tyranny is steadfastly overlooked, or expressly cheered, when undertaken by compliant regimes, such as those in Riyadh and Cairo (see this USA Today article, one of many, recently hailing the Saudis as one of the ‘moderate’ countries in the region). This is exactly the tactic that leads neocons to feign concern for Afghan women or the plight of Iranian gays when doing so helps to gin up war-rage against those regimes, while they snuggle up to far worse but far more compliant regimes.”

  • Venezuelan Social Movements Take to the Streets to Oppose U.S. Aggression (Mar. 13 2015)

    “Chanting ‘Yankee go home’ and ‘Venezuela respects itself’, thousands of Venezuelans of all ages filled the streets with their characteristic red shirts, exhibiting national pride and indignation in response to the White House’s announcements.

    ‘We are here to defend the motherland left to us by Chávez, Bolívar, Zamora, and all of our heroes and heroines, because we've also had many heroines, many barefooted women who defended this country. We're following in the same legacy as all of them,’ Lies Guzmán of the Socialist Environmental Workers' Front told Venezuelanalysis.

    ‘We are steeled, knee to the ground, for anything that happens, with the women in the vanguard, prepared on all fronts, including the diplomatic, military, and guerrilla fronts if necessary.’

    In his executive order, President Obama expressed concern for alleged human rights violations in Venezuela.

    Olenia Quintana, 32, of the Pioneers Encampment collective challenged what she perceives to be a clear double standard underlying the U.S president's accusations.

    ‘If you're talking about human rights, the first thing that Obama needs to do in his country is revise all of the laws. [The United States] is the only country [in the hemisphere] with the death penalty. Here there is no death penalty.’

    This critique has been repeated on numerous occasions by President Nicolas Maduro who has denounced the U.S. government's human rights record vis-a-vis its own people.”

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