‘US sanctions part of comprehensive assault against Venezuela’


US sanctions against Venezuela are part of a “comprehensive assault” against the South American country, Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Arreaza said here.

“It’s not just the sanctions, the unilateral coercive measures. Let’s see this as a comprehensive assault, a political and diplomatic assault, definitely an economic assault, a communicational and ideological assault. It is a real assault with operations by mercenaries,” Xinhua news agency quoted Arreaza as saying on Wednesday.

The Foreign Minister made the remarks while addressing a virtual academic conference which gathered experts in the field and diplomatic envoys accredited to the UN Human Rights Council.

“There is no doubt” that the measures applied by Washington “have hurt the Venezuelan economy and the Venezuelan people, and constitute crimes against humanity”, said Arreaza.

From every perspective, unilateral coercive measures are illegal under international law and that is clearly established by the UN General Assembly itself, in different debates and resolutions, he added.

For over 15 years, the US has imposed sanctions in response to activities of the Venezuelan government and Venezuelan individuals.

The earliest sanctions imposed related to Venezuela’s lack of cooperation on anti-drug and

counter-terrorism efforts.

The former Barack Obama administration had imposed targeted sanctions against individuals for human rights abuses, corruption, and anti-democratic actions.

Former President Donald Trump had also significantly expanded economic sanctions.

As of January 22, 2021, the Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on roughly 166 Venezuelan or Venezuelan-connected individuals.

Meanwhile, the State Department has revoked the visas of more than 1,000 individuals and their families so far.