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.