Trump Regime Aiming to Blockade Iran and Venezuela?

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Trump Regime Aiming to Blockade Iran and Venezuela?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

International law is clear. Blockades are undeclared acts of war.

No nation may legally use this tactic against another state unilaterally or with coalition partners.

UN Charter provisions are binding international law. Article 39 authorizes the Security Council alone to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Under Article 41, Security Council members have exclusive authority to “decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.”

Member states may not legally take these actions, or attack another nation, without Security Council authorization — permitted only in self-defense, never preemptively for any reasons.

If Article 41 measures fail, the Security Council may authorize further actions, “includ(ing) demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”

If the Trump regime on its own or with coalition partners takes any of the above actions against Iran, Venezuela, or any other nations, it will constitute a flagrant breach of international and constitutional law.

It’s what the US has done time and again against nations threatening no one throughout the post-WW II era, part of its permanent war on humanity, accountability never forthcoming.

Does the Trump regime plan preemptive hostile actions against Venezuela and Iran — no matter their illegality?

The so-called Lima Group is a Trump regime cobbled together “coalition” of 12 Latin American anti-Bolivarian social democracy countries plus Canada.

They’re allied with the US plot to replace Venezuela’s legitimate government with pro-Western fascist tyranny, along with giving the US control over the country’s vast oil reserves, the world’s largest.

Months earlier, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza tweeted the following:

“What we have said since the creation of this group of governments joined against Venezuela (formed in August 2017), to which the US, in theory, does not belong: they meet to receive orders from @realDonaldTrump through @SecPompeo. What a humiliating display of subordination.”

Their ruling regimes are largely puppets controlled by puppet master Washington, opposing democratic governance they pretend to support — backing the White House coup plot against Venezuela.

On August 6, representatives of the group’s member states will meet for the 15th time in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A separate report said Lima, Peru.

A late July press statement “(r)enew(ed) their support for” Trump regime-designated puppet/usurper in waiting Guaido, a figure with no legitimacy, a traitor to his nation and population.

Bolton and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will attend the session — to give their member states White House marching orders.

Reportedly the meeting is all about consolidating support for isolating, weakening, and blockading, or imposing a quarantine on Venezuela, stepping up efforts to topple President Maduro.

On Friday, Bolton tweeted: “The US won’t stand by while Maduro attacks Venezuela’s last remaining democratic institution (sic).”

Months earlier, Bolton explained what the Trump regime’s power grab in Venezuela is all about, saying:

“We’re in conversation with major American companies now…It will make a big difference to the United States economically if we could have American oil companies invest in and produce the oil capabilities in Venezuela.”

Its revenues are heavily earmarked for social benefits. If controlled by Big Oil, they’ll be largely or entirely eliminated, the US and its oil giants benefitting at the expense of the Venezuelan people.

The coup attempt also aims to eliminate the hemisphere’s leading social democracy, a notion the US tolerates nowhere, especially not at home.

Last week, Trump admitted he’s considering a “blockade or quarantine” of Venezuela. Maduro denounced what’s clearly illegal, stressing that the Bolivarian Republic will remain “free and independent.”

Does the Trump regime have the same thing in mind for Iran? Is that what the Pentagon’s Operation Sentinel is all about?

The US seeks NATO, regional, and other coalition partners as part of its “maximum pressure” on Iran.

The scheme has nothing to do with “ensur(ing) safe passage, and de-escalat(ing) tensions in international waters throughout the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Bab el-Mandeb strait ,and the Gulf of Oman” — according to a CENTCOM statement.

It’s unrelated to US war secretary Esper saying “if we think a US ship may be under some type of threat (sic) — being stopped or being seized (sic) — we would want to make sure we have the capacity to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

It has all the earmarks of seeking partners to impose a maritime blockade along Iran’s 1,200 mile Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea coastline.

No NATO countries agreed to ally with the Trump regime’s scheme so far — after weeks of pressure by Bolton, Pompeo and their henchmen.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said “(p)articipation in the US strategy of ‘maximum pressure’ is ruled out for us.”

Japan and India refused to be part of the scheme. So did Kuwait. Perhaps the US will be a coalition of one — with token support from Israel, the Saudis and UAE alone.

Britain intends a separate Persian Gulf operation with a minimal number of vessels.

On August 2, Politico said “so far, Donald Trump’s coalition to protect oil tankers from alleged Iranian aggression (sic) appears to have just one member — the United States,” adding:

“The British have demurred, the French are noncommittal and the Germans on Wednesday flat out said no.”

European and other nations are concerned about being dragged into a Trump regime war on nonbelligerent Iran by allying with its Operation Sentinel they apparently want no part of — nor an illegal scheme to blockade the country.

According to advisor to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini Nathalie Tocci, “a military operation in the Gulf would increase exponentially the potential triggers for a confrontation with Iran,” adding:

“So long as (Brussels) see(s) a chance of freedom of navigation being secured through dialogue and diplomacy with Iran, they will opt for this route.”

Middle East analyst Jon Alterman said world community nations “aren’t sure where the US is trying to take them. They think that aligning with the (White House scheme) incurs risk without providing security.”

Trump regime policy toward Venezuela and Iran is all about regime change, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing their sovereign independence.

It’s no coincidence that both nations are oil rich. Longstanding US policy calls for gaining control over world supplies as a way of controlling other countries.

War and other forms of brute force are the favored strategies of both right wings of its war party.

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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.