No to Trump’s criminal imposition of a total blockade against the Venezuelan people

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state within the territory under US jurisdiction: saying they are “blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in.”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.