UN rapporteur: US sanctions on Venezuela are ‘blunt’ way to engineer regime change, causing blanket starvation
US sanctions against Venezuela are like “going into microsurgery with a kitchen knife” and are holding an entire population hostage, the UN special rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures told The Grayzone.
by Michael Selby-Green
US-led sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) are “playing with fire,” causing blanket starvation, and harming people with no stake in the leadership struggle, warned the United Nation’s special rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures.
“I have reviewed sanctions across the world. Very few of them have really been a positive, helpful factor. It’s like going into microsurgery using a kitchen knife. It’s a very blunt tool to achieve the proclaimed objective,” said ambassador Idriss Jazairy in an interview with The Grayzone.
“They usually contribute, and this is the case now in Venezuela, in stimulating more suffering for innocent people that have no axe to grind in the political dissent that exists in the country,” he added.
Jazairy, who monitors sanctions for the UN, joins the first UN official to visit Venezuela for 21 years, Alfred de Zayas, in firmly condemning the measures which both men say are killing Venezuelan citizens.
The special expert called it “bizarre” that, at a time when Venezuela lacks food and medicine, the US and its allies have intervened to restrict access to both critical needs by imposing crushing new sanctions.
Jazairy made his comments just before the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution by Venezuela on March 21, by a vote of 27 to 15, condemning the use of unilateral coercive measures like sanctions.
The resolution declared that the Human Rights Council was alarmed at “the disproportionate and indiscriminate human costs of unilateral sanctions and their negative effects on the civilian population, in particular women and children, of targeted States.” It urged states to abide by international law and remove illegal sanctions.