16 Dems Oppose the Trump Regime’s Sanctions War on Venezuela

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16 Dems Oppose the Trump Regime’s Sanctions War on Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

In a letter to Mike Pompeo, 16 Dems demanded an end to (illegally imposed) US sanctions on Venezuela – opposing the Trump regime’s military threats as well. More on this below.

Illegal US sanctions war on Venezuela began under Obama in 2011. Initially imposed on the state-owned PDVSA oil company, they were largely symbolic – with little effect on the company’s US-based CITGO subsidiary.

In March 2015, Obama imposed sanctions on seven Venezuelan officials, freezing any assets held in the US, rescinding their visas to enter the country.

He turned truth on its head, claiming “(w)e are committed to advancing respect for human rights, safeguarding democratic institutions, and protecting the US financial system from the illicit financial flows from public corruption in Venezuela.”

He declared a “national emergency,” citing a nonexistent “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”

In December 2014, Congress passed the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act – unanimously by voice vote. Not a single profile in courage opposed what demanded rejection. Obama signed the measure into law.

Throughout the Bolivarian Republic’s history, the world’s leading human rights abuser USA targeted one of its staunchest defenders, guaranteeing fundamental rights for all its citizens.

Venezuelan democracy is the real thing. In the US, it’s pure fantasy in name only. The Trump regime escalated sanctions war on the country initiated by Obama – notably by targeting PDVSA, seizing its US-based assets, aiming to block its oil sales entirely by threatening sanctions on buyers.

DLT illegally handed over control of Venezuela’s central bank and PDVSA to US designated puppet Juan Guaido – a figure elected by no one as president, a usurper in waiting with no legitimacy, a traitor to his country, belonging in prison longterm.

CITGO revenues will be illegally held in a blocked account,  unavailable to Venezuela’s legitimate government and its people.

Maduro is contesting Trump’s action judicially, likely in the International Court of Justice – mandated to settle legal disputes between UN member states.

Whatever decision(s) they render for Venezuela won’t matter. Republicans and undemocratic Dems operate by Washington rules alone. 

Led by Rep. Ro Khanna, the following other 15 Dem House members wrote Mike Pompeo on Venezuela, wanting US policy toward the country changed.

They include Pramila Jayapal, Mark Pocan, Raul Grijalva, Henry C. Johnson, Adriano Espaillat, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Nydia Velazquez, Jose Serrano, Tulsi Gabbard, Karen Bass, Danny Davis, and Jan Schakowsky.

The letter is imperfect for including false information on Maduro, yet important for opposing the Trump regime’s coup plot.

The co-signers “express(ed)  deep concern regarding the Trump Administration’s handling of relations with Venezuela, particularly its suggestions of military intervention, imposition of broad unilateral sanctions, and recent recognition of an opposition leader as interim president without a clear plan in place to hold democratic elections and avoid an escalation of violence.”

Fact: Calling for new elections ignored Maduro’s democratic election and reelection – the process called scrupulously open, free and fair by independent international observers.

Fact: The co-signers failed to acknowledge fundamental international law, stating no nations may interfere in the internal affairs of others – except in self-defense if attacked, a military response only permitted if authorized by Security Council members.

The co-signers justifiably expressed concern over threats by Trump and other regime officials, saying: “All options are on the table,” indicating “a pursuit of American military-led regime change” – a flagrant violation of international law.

The co-signers oppose the Trump regime’s sanctions war, “exacerbat(ing) the country’s grave economic crisis, causing immense suffering for the most vulnerable in society who bear no responsibility for the situation in the country.”

Illegal US sanctions are the prime cause of economic hard times, exacerbated by low oil prices, the letter failed to explain.

It turned truth on its head, falsely claiming actions by Maduro’s government “includ(e) repression of Venezuelan civil society, failed economic policy, the killing of unarmed protestors, disregard for the rule of law, the holding of unfair elections, and blocking humanitarian aid from entering the country.”

All of the above are bald-faced Big Lies, other than justifiable criticism of Maduro’s economic policies, making a bad situation worse, the nation experiencing severe Depression conditions.

So-called Trump regime “humanitarian aid” was and remains a disturbing Trojan horse PR stunt, unrelated to helping Venezuelans DLT and hardliners surrounding him are contemptuous of by imposing harmful economic sanctions.

Ending them is essential to change things. The longer they’re maintained and hardened, the worse things will get, precisely what Trump regime hardliners intend, falsely blaming Maduro for harm caused by US war by other means.

Maduro is a democrat, not an “autocrat,” as the letter falsely claimed. The co-signers correctly said neither he or his government threaten US national security – stressing as well that military intervention would be “unconstitutional” without Security Council authorization.

“We were deeply troubled to learn that President Trump, after having spoken publicly about a ‘military option’ for Venezuela, reportedly pushed for military intervention in Venezuela in meetings with other senior officials in the White House,” said the co-signers, adding:

“Rather than pursuing misguided policies which run counter to our own national interests, the US should instead join other countries in promoting Venezuelan efforts to achieve constructive dialogue and democratic solutions to the current political crisis.”

“The US stands alone in its decision to impose economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government, that as currently implemented, are hurting the civilian population.”

Whenever imposed by Washington against other countries, that’s precisely their aim, making economies scream to harm ordinary people, hoping they’ll rise up against ruling authorities the US wants toppled.

The scheme fails every time tried. When threatened from abroad, nationals of targeted countries most often rally in support of their governments, their only protection against foreign aggression or other harsh measures.

Polls show Venezuelans overwhelmingly oppose sanctions, foreign interference, and efforts by the US to topple Maduro forcefully. They’re notably against military intervention. So are other regional countries.

The co-signers expressed strong opposition to US intervention in Venezuela by armed force or other threats to the nation’s sovereignty.

Their unjust criticism of Maduro aside, they justifiably called for Venezuelans to resolve differences through constructive dialogue, wanting Washington to keep its hands off the country.

Their good intentions fell on deaf ears at the White House, State Department, Pentagon and CIA – dark forces pursing regime change their way.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.