US Sanctions War

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US Sanctions War

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council alone may authorize intervention against member states to restore peace, stability and security.

Its members alone may impose sanctions on member states, their entities or individuals.

Nations imposing them on their own do it illegally. Countries going along with them are complicit with illegality.

Security Council sanctions are either military or non-military ones. The former may involve blockades or military intervention against a member state.

Economic, financial, trade, severance of diplomatic relations, travel bans, and embargoes constitute non-military sanctions against a member state.

Unilaterally imposed US sanctions against other nations have no legal validity. They’re used against governments unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to US interests.

They’re a tool to advance Washington’s imperium. Nations currently targeted include Cuba (since 1962), Iran (since 1979), Syria (since 1979), Russia (since 2014), China (since 2017), North Korea (since 2006), Myanmar, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Belarus, and Venezuela (since 2006), among others.

US sanctions imposed on Venezuela were based on Big Lies – related to nonexistent terrorism, drugs trafficking, anti-democratic actions, human rights violations, corruption, and human trafficking.

All of the above are US specialties, the Bolivarian Republic involved in none of them by its ruling authorities.

US financial sanctions were imposed on hundreds of Venezuelan nationals. Over 250 Venezuelans had US visas revoked.

In 2006, the Bush/Cheney regime imposed sanctions on Venezuela for so-called non-cooperation in combatting international terrorism the US supports.

Annually since then, the State Department annually accused Venezuela of not “cooperating fully with United States anti-terrorism efforts” – pursuant to Section 40A of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2781). 

In connection to the above fabricated claim, Washington prohibited US arms sales and transfers of US weapons to the Bolivarian Republic since 2006.

In 2008, the Treasury Department imposed asset freezes and prohibitions on financial transactions on two Venezuelan nationals and two of the country’s travel agencies – dubiously claiming their connection to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, part of the nation’s government, wrongfully designated a terrorist organization at the behest of Israel.

The same goes for Hamas, Palestine’s democratically elected government, not a terrorist organization. Israel demanded otherwise. The US obliged with the wrongful designation.

Venezuela actively combats drugs trafficking. Maduro continues efforts begun by Hugo Chavez. Beginning in 2005, the Bush/Cheney regime falsely accused the Bolivarian Republic of non-cooperation against narco-trafficking the US supports worldwide.

Annually since then, Washington falsely claimed Venezuela hasn’t fulfilled its obligations under international narcotics agreements.

The Treasury Department sanctioned around two dozen Venezuelan nationals and over two dozen entities – falsely accusing them of narco-trafficking, including former Vice President/current Minister of Industries and National Production Tareck el Aissami.

Responding to fabricated charges, he said the following:

“When I headed the public security corps of my country, in 2008-2012, our fight against drug cartels achieved the greatest progress in our history and in the western hemisphere, both in terms of the transnational drug trafficking business and their logistics structures.”

“During those years, the Venezuelan anti-drug enforcement authorities under my leadership captured, arrested and brought 102 heads of criminal drug trafficking organizations not only to the Venezuelan justice but also to the justice of other countries where they were wanted.”

Venezuela combats illicit drugs trafficking effectively. America has a long history of working with drug cartels, notably through the CIA, major US banks profiting greatly from laundering dirty money.

The so-called 2014 Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act wrongfully imposed sanctions on Venezuelan nationals for nonexistent human rights violations – related to defending the nation and its people from US orchestrated violence and chaos.

In March 2015, the Obama regime falsely declared Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States – declaring a ‘national emergency’…to confront” a nonexistent threat. 

In August 2017, the Trump regime’s Treasury Department imposed what it called “irreversible” sanctions on Venezuela, targeting its economy and financial system.

Its government and PDVSA were denied access to US financial markets. In March 2018, the Trump regime sanctioned issuance and use of Venezuela’s digital currency – its petro cryptocurrency.

In May 2018, Trump’s executive order blocked purchase of Venezuelan debt, including its accounts receivable, and debt owed to the country pledged as collateral.

In November 2018 by executive order, Trump froze assets and blocked financial transactions on Venezuelans determined by the Treasury Secretary to be operating in the nation’s sanctioned gold and other economic sectors.

Under Trump, sanctions were imposed on countless numbers of Venezuelan nationals, including President Maduro, other top officials, and state oil company PDVSA.

Billions of dollars of its assets were seized. Trump illegally handed over control of Venezuela’s central bank and state-owned oil company to designated puppet/usurper in waiting Guaido.

Revenues from the state-owned US subsidiary CITGO are held in a blocked account, unavailable to Maduro’s legitimate government and the Venezuelan people.

Earlier on January 28, Trump declared a nonexistent national emergency “with respect to Venezuela,” saying:

“The executive order I have issued accounts for the swearing in of a(n) (illegitimate usurper) interim president of Venezuela, and addresses actions by persons affiliated with the (legitimate) Maduro” government.

The Trump regime aims to crush Venezuela economically and financially, along with wanting the country isolated politically – the same agenda instituted against Iran, aiming to incite popular uprisings against their governments.

Whenever these tactics were employed before, they failed to achieve sought objectives – not in Cuba for nearly six decades, nor against Iran and Syria for the past 40 years, nor North Korea, Russia, China, or any other targeted governments.

Yet they’re used time and again, harming ordinary people in targeted countries, failing to win their support for Washington’s agenda – including from what’s ongoing in Venezuela.

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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.