Trump Regime Escalates Sanctions War on Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Sanctions are ineffective as a regime change tool, harming targeted economies and populations, achieving little more.
Yet they’re a US favorite, used repeatedly against targeted countries like Venezuela, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and many others.
When unilaterally imposed, they’re flagrantly illegal, never a consideration for US hardliners, operating by their own rules exclusively.
On Friday, the Trump regime’s Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two companies and 35 vessels transporting Venezuelan oil to Cuba – their legal right.
Sanctioned companies are Liberia-registered Ballito Bay Shipping Incorporated and Greek-registered ProPer In Management Incorporated.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin turned truth on its head, saying “Cuba has been an underlying force fueling Venezuela’s descent into crisis (sic). Treasury is taking action against vessels and entities transporting oil, providing a lifeline to keep…illegitimate Maduro…afloat (sic).”
Further US sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector were imposed, a Trump regime official saying “(w)e acted upon a request from the Venezuelan National Assembly.”
The country’s Supreme Court ruled its actions “null and void” for illegally seating three MPs accused of electoral fraud.
According to the Trump regime official, “we are continuing to tighten the noose…for the financial strangulation of Maduro and his cronies. We will continue moving in that direction. We will continue to see action coming in days and weeks ahead.”
In response to the Trump regime’s latest illegal action, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said “while (it) boasts of defending economic and commercial principles, it announced sanctions today against Venezuelan vessels and transportation in order to affect the delivery of oil to its sister Republic of Cuba,” adding:
“The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects the new attack by the (Trump regime) against the Venezuelan oil industry and its economic sovereignty.”
It illegally attacks the “most basic economic and commercial rights, and questions how a member-country of the World Trade Organization and so-called ‘defender of liberal principles’ would impose such measures.”
The sanctions “aim to do harm, not only to the countries of Venezuela and Cuba, but also the businesses and commercial associations that should instead benefit from international protection.”
No matter what actions the Trump regime takes against sovereign Venezuela and its allies, “no act of imperialism will stop the cooperation between free and independent countries,” Arreaza stressed.
Establishment media cheered the Trump regime’s illegal action. The NYT quoted Mike Pence, saying “Venezuela’s oil belongs to the Venezuelan people.”
He hasn’t a clue about how sovereign Venezuela operates, using most of its revenues for helping its people by providing vital social services.
In the US they’re fast eroding, its discretionary income used largely for militarism, warmaking, and corporate handouts, its ordinary people increasingly exploited.
The Times lied claiming Venezuela “provides oil to Cuba in exchange for intelligence and counterintelligence services while the Venezuelan people lack food, medicine and clean water” – typical Times rubbish, supporting lawless Trump regime actions instead of responsibly denouncing them.
For the first time since March 29, the Wall Street Journal discussed Venezuela, covering the same issue, saying Trump regime sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry aim “to cripple” Maduro’s government, DLT hardliners turning truth on its head calling it illegitimate and corrupt, according to the Journal.
Venezuela and Cuba are longstanding allies. US actions won’t change things. Their governments will continue working cooperatively together, as well as with Russia, China, and other nations.
The neocon/CIA house organ Washington Post didn’t cover the latest US sanctions on Venezuela in its Saturday edition.
It featured Big Lies about its health system, falsely claiming it’s “in utter collapse,” a bald-faced Big Lie.
It cited propaganda by Human Rights Watch, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, opposing Bolivarian social democracy, supporting regime change in Venezuela.
Relying on opposition sources, not information from reliable ones, they created the illusion of a deeply troubled Venezuelan health system – greatly aided by Russia, China and Cuba.
WaPo falsely claimed Maduro “refused to allow anything beyond a trickle of assistance to enter the country” – another bald-faced Big Lie.
It quoted Trump regime point man for regime change in Venezuela Elliott Abrams turning truth on its head, saying “(t)he United States continues to seek ways to provide humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people.”
US sanctions war and other toughness aim to inflict pain and suffering on the Venezuelan people.
Instead of winning over greater numbers from Maduro to Guaido, things so far are polar opposite.
The vast majority of Venezuelans want the country’s social democracy preserved and protected. They strongly oppose foreign interference, overwhelmingly against military force.
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