Skip to main content

Trump enacts sweeping new sanctions on China, Iran, Venezuela - Biden promises more to come

The new sanctions come even as an estimated 100,000 people have been killed by American sanctions in Venezuela alone as vital medical equipment and lifesaving drugs have been blocked from entering the country.
 
by Alan Macleod 

On its way out the door, the Trump administration is ramping up another round of aggressive, punishing sanctions against a host of countries. On Friday, the State Department announced new sanctions against Iran, the People’s Republic of China, and Venezuela. And today, it tightened the grip of the decades-long blockade on Cuba and increased sanctions on Nicaragua.

In the case of Iran, the measures were aimed at its oil industry and went so far as to sanction Vietnamese companies helping with the international supply of Iranian hydrocarbons. “Today, thanks to the success of our sanctions, Iran is looking to come back to the negotiating table to get relief,” Trump’s Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, asserted, adding (falsely) that the Iranian nuclear program remains focused on weaponry, not civilian usage.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also announced that 59 Chinese entities that were “undermining our national security and foreign policy interests” have been targeted. In the case of Venezuela, the action came as retaliation after it held an election the United States deemed to be fraudulent.

The Trump administration has ramped up the use of sanctions, issuing around 3,800 new ones, compared to 2,350 in President Obama’s second term. Sanctions are an act of war, and, when applied unilaterally, are often seen as illegal. The UN has formally denounced many of the U.S. sanctions, noting that they “disproportionately affect the poor and most vulnerable classes,” and not the leaders of foreign governments as is sometimes argued.

The effect on Iran has been to essentially tank its economy and cause untold hardship on its people. Oil production has sputtered. The Iranian rial has lost the majority of its worth. Food and consumer goods have become scarce and far more expensive, and international travel is now much harder. Throughout 2020, the U.S. has hindered the import of humanitarian aid and personal protective equipment, adding to the COVID-19 epidemic inside the country. The National Iranian American Council (no lovers of the current administration in Tehran) described U.S. actions as “heartless and sadistic.” Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature at the University of Tehran agreed, telling MintPress in October that, “The sanctions deliberately target ordinary Iranians, women, and children…They are designed to kill hospital patients and to create poverty. They have had partial success.

The effect on Venezuela has been if anything, more acute. An estimated 100,000 people have been killed by American sanctions (a fact barely reported in the West), as vital medical equipment and lifesaving drugs have been blocked from entering the country. Alfred de Zayas, an (American) UN Special Rapporteur visited Venezuela, comparing life there to living under a Medieval siege, and declaring the United States as guilty of “crimes against humanity.

There appears little hope for a major change in tactics with the incoming administration. A Biden-linked Washington think-tank recently released a report calling for more “innovative” use of what it called “coercive economic statecraft,” (i.e. sanctions). The Center for a New American Security was founded by Michelle Flournoy, Biden’s original pick for Defense Secretary, and is full of Obama-era officials like Victoria Nuland. “The use of economic power, backed up by all of the available legal tools, plays to America’s strengths as the dominant global economic power and promises a continued stream of benefits,” they argue, concluding that, “Although there are inevitably going to be costs, and possibly increasing ones, associated with the use of coercive economic tools, the benefits are also going to increase over time.

News agency Reuters also recently released a report based on conversations with people close to the 78-year-old former vice-president, noting that sanctions will “remain a central instrument of U.S. power” under his administration, suggesting that he will likely ramp up sanctions against Russia. Far from dropping the practice, Biden’s major challenge, according to those cited, will be “to sort out which sanctions to keep, which to undo and which to expand.” It appears it will continue to be full steam ahead for America’s sanctions regime in 2021.

Source, links:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Γκάλοπ πρόωρων εκλογών

failed evolution survey software * Η σειρά με την οποία έχουν τοποθετηθεί τα πολιτικά κόμματα έγινε με βάση το αποτέλεσμα των τελευταίων βουλευτικών εκλογών του Ιουλίου του 2019.  * Αν προτιμάτε άλλο κόμμα από αυτά που εκπροσωπούνται στη βουλή, υπάρχει η επιλογή "Άλλο", ενώ μπορείτε, αν θέλετε, να γράψετε στα σχόλια το όνομα του κόμματος.  * Παρακαλούμε κοινοποιείστε για καλύτερο δείγμα.

Operation Mindfuck: The origins of the Illuminati conspiracy fraud and how it became popular in our times

From the new documentary Can 't Get You Out of My Head by Adam Curtis   globinfo freexchange   The first settlers had come from Europe to America to flee from the corruption of power in the Old World. But although they had got away from the old power, they hadn't got away from their suspicious minds, and alone, out in the vast wilderness of the new America, that led them to imagining dark, hidden conspiracies in their own government, far away in Washington.    One of the first of these, in the early 19th century, said that a secret group from Europe, called the Bavarian Illuminati, were running a giant conspiracy in America to destroy the new democracy. In reality, the Illuminati had been a utopian movement who wanted to replace religion with reason. But instead, they now became the first of a series of frightening suspicions that fed off the isolation of the settlers in the New World.    One night (in 1958, somewhere in the vicinity of Whittier, California), Kerry Thornley

End of the Megamachine: How capitalism & its crises have turned us into a failing civilization

Going Underground   Fabian Scheidler, author of The End of the Megamachine. A Brief History of a Failing Civilization ( https://www.megamaschine.org/en/​ ), discusses why capitalism is in terminal crisis due to its continuous growth model. Why he classifies human civilization as a failing civilization. How capitalism will likely not go through a sudden collapse but rather transition into something else. How crises such a climate change and coronavirus continue to break capitalism. The role of neoliberalism in accelerating capitalism’s collapse. Capitalism’s reliance on 70% of the world being cheap labour. The role of regime change and debt in keeping nations poor.  

COVID-19: After one year, Mitsotakis regime fails dramatically to control pandemic in Greece

globinfo freexchange   After one year, Greece has become one of the most characteristic cases of blatant failure concerning COVID-19 pandemic control. The situation is getting worse and the National Health System of Greece receives extreme pressure, while there are signs that it has already crashed. According to some recent reports , " A record number of patients with Covid-19 in Greece are on ventilators on Thursday. The total number of people undergoing the treatment has reached 706, breaking the previous record of 699, which was recorded on both the last two consecutive days, on Tuesday and Wednesday. " With the help of jodi.graphics we present a brief timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country: February 26, 2020: The first verified COVID-19 case in Greece. March 10, 2020: The government shuts down schools and universities. March 12, 2020: The first death in Greece from COVID-19.   March 23, 2020: The first lockdown in Greece.   March 28, 2020: COVID-19 cases in Gr

QAnon and Russiagate: How the capitalist elites produced a mass conspiracy hysteria to maintain power

globinfo freexchange   In his new documentary Can't Get You Out of My Head , Adam Curtis traces the origins of popular conspiracy theories that survived up to our days and spread rapidly due to Internet. As a result, Curtis finds that Trump election and Brexit triggered a conspiracy paranoia that took over both the liberal establishment and the ultra-conservative camp. The story begins in the late 60s, when Kerry Thornley and his friend Greg Hill had started what they called Operation Mindfuck . They had spread the conspiracy theory that the Illuminati were really the secret rulers of the world. They had done it to parody and ridicule all conspiracy theories because they thought that they undermined the confidence of individuals and made them easier to control.    But now, in the mass of data online, those stories about the Illuminati got mixed up with other conspiracies, both true and false, and out of it came extraordinary dreamlike stories built out of fragments of truth and fic

EU more worried about Parma ham branding than COVID vaccine patents

How did EU governments decide to oppose a global measure that could boost production of COVID vaccines and medicines for the global south? You won’t get the slightest hint from official EU sources. But leaked documents reveal that the Commission and member states see the real problem as a mere PR issue of how to deflect criticism. Given the pandemic, their position seems indefensible.   Corporate Europe Observatory   Part 4 - The world needs to understand the EU better   To almost anyone, to the public, that would be where the story ended – with no insight into how the EU’s decision to oppose the India/ South Africa proposal was made, nor into what arguments were considered. But then sometimes, with a stroke of luck, documents are leaked. And in this case, documents from a German Ministry ended up with Corporate Europe Observatory (unfortunately they cannot be made public). According to those documents, the proposed India/ South Africa waiver was discussed on three occasions in the Tra

Αν είσαι Κούλης ...

globinfo freexchange Δεν παραδέχεσαι πότε, ούτε εμμέσως, ως πρωθυπουργός μιας χώρας, ότι η χώρα αυτή είναι προτεκτοράτο. Εκτός και αν είσαι ... Κούλης.   Όχι βέβαια ότι δεν το ξέραμε. Ότι δηλαδή η χώρα είναι εδώ και δεκαετίες Αμερικανικό προτεκτοράτο και πιο πρόσφατα, Γερμανική αποικία χρέους. Αλλά ένας πρωθυπουργός υποτίθεται ότι δεν πρέπει να τα λέει αυτά (ούτε άμεσα, ούτε πλαγίως, ούτε με κανένα τρόπο), γιατί είναι σαν να δηλώνει υποταγή με τον πιο επίσημο τρόπο και να παραδέχεται ανοιχτά ότι δεν πρόκειται να αλλάξει ποτέ αυτή η κατάσταση.  Αλλά είπαμε. Όταν είσαι Κούλης και θεωρείς τη χώρα τσιφλίκι που κληρονόμησες απ'τον μπαμπά για να το παραδώσεις βορά σε ντόπια και ξένα συμφέροντα, δεν δίνεις σημασία σε τέτοιες "λεπτομέρειες". Αυτά είναι ψιλά γράμματα για το Πριγκιπόπουλο του Μητσοτακιστάν. Λόγω αλαζονείας, λόγω αμετροέπειας και τελικά λόγω ... βλακείας.   Ο Κούλης, λοιπόν, κατηγόρησε τον ΣΥΡΙΖΑ για "σατανικό σχέδιο" (εδώ γελάνε και οι πιο "ψεκασμένο

"The prices are going up quickly": Bulgarian PM reveals huge scandal around the negotiations between EU and Pfizer for the price of the COVID-19 vaccine

globinfo freexchange   It should be a big headline in every major media outlet. Yet, in the era of corporate feudalism (where the mainstream media are bought by big corporations), this story has passed almost unnoticed, despite the fact that it has been brought to light by a Prime Minister of a European country.   Almost buried in a "corner" of the Reuters website, the short report reveals that according to the Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov, the EU is about to make a new deal with Pfizer-BioNTech for additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, at a significantly increased price:   The bloc is seeking the new supply deal with the two companies for up to 1.8 billion vaccines, of which is 900 million optional, to be delivered in 2022 and 2023, Reuters reported on Friday. Borissov, speaking on Sunday, said the EU was negotiating the new contract at a price of 19.5 euros ($23.22) per dose. “The prices are going up quickly,” Borissov said during a trip to a village in southern Bulga

Max Blumenthal debunks US accusation of China's 'genocide' against Uighurs

The Grayzone   Max Blumenthal documents the deceptions behind the US government's accusation that China is committing "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims in its Xinjiang region, picking apart NED-funded studies that rely on botched statistics and exposing extremist Adrian Zenz and his error-filled research. 

Will Lula make a comeback? Global imperialists and resource extractors shudder at the prospect

With the potential comeback of Lula da Silva, Brazil may once again be on a path away from fascism and one that puts economic justice and anti-imperialism first.   by Alan Macleod   Part 1 Will the world’s sixth most populous country move away from fascism and towards a social democracy putting economic justice and anti-imperialism first once more? That is the question on Brazilian minds right now, as earlier this month the Supreme Court dismissed all charges against former President Luis Inácio “Lula” da Silva. A colossal figure in domestic and world politics, Lula was falsely convicted of fraud in 2017, and spent more than 18 months in prison, becoming, in the words of renowned academic Noam Chomsky, “ the world’s most prominent political prisoner. ” Yesterday, the Supreme Court also ruled that the judge who sentenced Lula, Sergio Moro, made a biased decision. Secret documents show that Moro was actually working with the prosecution to ensure Lula was convicted, paving the way for fa