In the context of the global spread of Covid-19 and its devastating consequences for humanity, Pope Francis joined the calls by the United Nations and other multilateral bodies such as the Non-Aligned Movement for the suspension of unilateral coercive measures.
The so-called “sanctions”, warned the Supreme Pontiff in his message this Sunday from the Vatican Basilica, prevent people from obtaining the help needed at this most pressing time.
“Let us try to ensure that they do not lack basic necessities, which are more difficult to obtain now when many businesses are closed, as well as medicines and, above all, the possibility of adequate health care. In light of the present circumstances, let us also relax international sanctions on the countries concerned that prevent them from offering their own citizens adequate aid and let all countries address the great needs of the moment, reducing or even cancelling the debt that weighs on the budgets of those who are poorest,” the Pope urged.
The main forum for securing international peace and cooperation, the United Nations (UN), and its various bodies have condemned the implementation of these types of measures. The Secretary General of the organisation, António Guterres, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, have called for the lifting and re-evaluation of the so-called sanctions.
Pope Francisco’s statement this Sunday was referenced by the Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Mr. Jorge Arreaza.
“Even the Holy Father is asking for the relaxing of international sanctions against the affected countries, which prevent them from offering their own citizens adequate aid, and to face…the great needs of the moment, for the reducing or even forgiving of the debt,” the Venezuelan Foreign Minister published on his Twitter account @jaarreaza.