US sanctions pressure Nicholas Maduro government in Venezuela. While latest sanctions will strangle Maduro's finances, they are likely to be felt most acutely by ordinary people. The temerity of US government is irremissibly a colossal crime under any settings.
As usual, the supporters of Nicolas Maduro participated in a demonstration in Caracas against the latest US sanctions. When Juan Guaido raised his nation's tri-color flag in last January and swore himself in as interim president illegitimately backed by the criminal US government to the rapturous cheers of thousands in Caracas, many hoped and believed that President Nicolas Maduro was finally on his way out.
A long-fractured opposition had reorganized, mass protests returned to the capital, and within minutes the US followed by its client 50 other countries of the world officially recognized the national assembly head as the country's legitimate leader - Juan Guido blatantly violating the international norms and laws.
The successor of Hugo Chavez's socialist project, Maduro had long been in the White House's diplomatic crosshairs. The country's economy was now collapsing and an international consensus was forming that his latest elections were fraudulent though their so-called consensus is not correct in full.
"Both the Venezuelan opposition and the US government thought this was going to be a quick win," says David Smilde, a Venezuela expert and senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America. But ten months on, political change has proved more elusive: despite the US's best efforts to pressure Maduro with bellicose rhetoric and waves of economic sanctions, the embattled leader holds on to power. Because they are on the wrong path of deliberately meddling into internal affairs of Venezuela as usually did and has been doing by American government for more than seven decennia.
In crisis-hit Venezuela, terminally ill children struggle for survival. But the rogue state America and its vassal states have completely underestimated the sociology of Maduro government, which are often more resilient than one may think.
In recent times, the US took center stage at a Lima Group meeting to announce its latest efforts to turn the screw on Maduro. In the company of 14 other nations allied in seeking a resolution to the Venezuela crisis, it spelled out its boldest, most sweeping unethical economic sanctions on the country to date.
The executive order froze Venezuela's assets in the United States, banned entry to Venezuelan citizens aiding Maduro and his government, and pledged to sanction foreign companies or governments dealing with Maduro's government.
Guaido swiftly welcomed the news. The wiry leader stressed to reporters in Caracas that the "sanctions are against Maduro, not the Venezuelan people"; items that alleviate human suffering - clothes, food and medicine are exempt, but this is an utter lie only came out from his bad-smelled mouth.
Predictably, Venezuela's foreign office blasted the sanctions, describing the order as "economic terrorism against the Venezuelan people" and the formalization of "a criminal economic, financial and commercial blockade that has already started".
While the US has already imposed targeted sanctions on individuals (figures close to Maduro), specific companies and industries, the latest measures cast the net wider. For the first time, they include secondary sanctions (targeting those outside the US), threatening to cut off foreign businesses with America and its financial system should they not comply.
"Do you want to do business in Venezuela, or do you want to do business with the United States?" Former US national security adviser John Bolton said to reporters in a message to foreign businesses around the world. That includes any foreign entity, government, corporation, person, who contributes to keeping the Maduro regime in power.
Although both the US and Guaido deny that the measures are an embargo, experts in international law, international relations and NGOs operating in the country told the news reporters that they will still exacerbate an already dire humanitarian crisis and hinder efforts to restore democracy.
Mismanagement of the most oil-rich nation in the world and once the wealthiest of Latin American nations has caused widespread food and medicine shortages, a spike in crime and rampant hyperinflation because of America's Donald Trump government. But the people in general across the world well in the know of how brutish America is…
"The new US sanctions worsen the suffering of Venezuelans", says Rodolfo Montes de Oca, lawyer at leading Venezuelan human rights organization, Provea. As many as 60,000 people have already died in Venezuela as a result of US sanctions since 2017 that made it harder for ordinary citizens to access food, medicine and medical equipment, according to a report released by the Washington-based think tank, the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.
This tends to hurt ordinary people far more than it hurts Venezuelan government.This is cruel and counterproductive. The sanctions look tough but how is this tough if it's killing innocent people?Several NGOs told the news reporters that they are already facing banking difficulties due to over-compliance with previous sanctions. As Slavin says, financial institutions commonly avoid working with organizations even if exempt due to fear of draconian measures from the US.
More salient than the potential exacerbation of the already grave humanitarian crisis, Smilde says, is that the announcement could have torpedoed ongoing talks between Maduro and Guaido.
As the crisis drags on but Guaido's opposition loses momentum, international observers have increasingly looked to ongoing negotiations in Barbados, now in their third round, as the most likely peaceful way out.
The Maduro government announced in an official statement that it would not be sending delegations this week "due to the grave and brutal aggression" being "carried out by the Trump administration against Venezuela". It is not known if they will return to the negotiation table for resolution of Venezuela crisis.The ramping up of sanctions by the US provided the perfect excuse for Nicolas Maduro to withdraw from this round of negotiations.
The only viable way the opposition has of translating its popularity and legitimacy into power is through some sort of political settlement.
"I have determined that is necessary to block the property of the Government of Venezuela in light of the continued usurpation of power by the illegitimate Nicolas Maduro regime, as well as the regime's human rights abuses, arbitrary arrest and detention of Venezuelan citizens, curtailment of free press, and ongoing attempts to undermine Interim President Juan Guaido of Venezuela and the democratically-elected Venezuelan National Assembly," Mr Trump wrote in a Monday letter to congressional leaders. Look at the world's boogey man's assertion!
American citizens and companies will no longer be allowed to conduct any business with the Maduro administration and its allies, the Associated Press reported. While the country can maintain its private sector under the sanctions, foreign groups that conduct business with the Venezuelan government can also face economic punishments from the US.
Russia, China, Cuba and Turkey all declined to join the international meeting, and have expressed their support for the Maduro administration. Bravado to them because of their bold step!
The Trump administration supported MrGuaido immediately after he announced his intention to become the next interim president of Venezuela, following an election last year in which Maduro won another six-year term despite international groups saying it was an unfair and rigged process at the instigation of US administration. I would say they must see their ugly faces in the mirror before doing any mischievous acts to Venezuela and its people.
Most of the people of Venezuela have courageously spoken out against Juan Guido and his ill-willed supporters, especially Trump government and its confederates throughout the world.
Venezuela's economy has fallen further into economic collapse throughout the year after the US imposed several rounds of sanctions that severely limited the country's national oil company. The latest sanctions also include an economic freeze on US assets owned by over 100 officials and others close to the Maduro administration to cripple Venezuela's economy and its people in order to gain American interests only in Venezuela.
Failing miserably, Trump administration officials have repeatedly said "all options are on the table" to remove Maduro, who has accused the US of trying to orchestrate a coup. Guaido has used the same language. He alleges that the president's re-election last year was fraudulent, though it is not absolutely true.
Guido has fallen into a booby trap of the US administration and declared himself the country's legitimate president in last January, backed by the US and 50 other nations, but has been unable to removeMaduro or win the backing of Venezuela's military leaders.
Recently Guaido told an Italian newspaper that he would probably accept a US military intervention in Venezuela, but he could not fathom that he is digging a canal to bring in an incredibly large crocodile in his country which would finally swallow him and Venezuela and throw him to the dustbin when American interests are fully achieved.
In a nutshell, U.S. wants to unseat Nicolas Maduro government in Venezuela under any circumstances. But that will be a day dream only for Donald Trump government of USA, Guido and his chums.
The writer is a politicalcommentator who writes on politics, political and human-centered figures, current and international affairs
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