United Nations condemns U.S government for unfair sanctions of Venezuelan diplomat


The United Nations has condemned the United States government and in passing the blind alignment of Cape Verde – in its strong-arm tactics with Venezuela, namely the inequity of the sanctions imposed on that Latin American country and the judicial persecution

The condemnation is on the basis of an absolutely illegal extraterritoriality.

The victims of these illegal actions are business and diplomatic agents that have been mandated to circumvent and minimize, through business partnerships with friendly countries, the brutal effects of the American embargo on the economy, society and daily life of ordinary Venezuelan citizens.

This was in a report a report drawn up following a mission carried out in the first half of February to Venezuela by UN Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan.

The report is expected to be presented to the United Nations Security Council later this year.

Venezuelan diplomat, Alex Saab’s name has not been mentioned in the Report, but who has been widely referenced, due to his profile and the specific circumstances of his situation.

The Diplomat is currently under detention in Cape Verde and attempts by his lawyers for his release amidst harsh treatments from Cape Verde authorities has yielded little results.

The African country has heeded a request from the US to extradite the Diplomat over criminal charges.

An action the African Bar Association say that it is “neither in compliance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights nor with customary international law”

What the Report says

According to the report, the unilateral sanctions of the United States, which were later backed by its main partners, namely the European Union and Canada, have a strong negative impact on all spheres of life in the country, severely affecting, not only the public-administrative universe as well as the economy and the public and private business sector of Venezuela.

To justify this embargo, almost universal in terms of scope, the United States accuses the Caracas executive, its leaders, the business class and public and private entities close to the regime, of every type of crime, namely drug trafficking, money laundering, widespread corruption, violation of human rights, terrorism, organization of fraudulent elections and persecution of political opponents, amongst others.

The American administration does not recognize the current President of the Republic nor the respective Government, preferring to consider the existence of another head of state, the leader of the opposition, who has never won elections and was therefore not elected. The sanctions of the United States thus arise and originate as a way to bring down the Government of Venezuela, through economic pressure and the social crisis, and to promote the seizure of power by those on their side.

Through these sanctions, the international banking system rejects the opening and maintenance of accounts, abroad, of the national public and private business sector, which is thus prevented from importing and exporting goods and services, with serious consequences for supplying the Venezuelan market and for the consumption of the population. At the same time, the embargo caused industry to collapse, which cannot import raw materials to produce and export, or serve domestic consumers.

Electricity in the country – which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves and whose economy is mono-directional, that is, there is one-way to exploit that wealth – only works at 20 per cent of its capacity, public services have laid off more than 50 percent of its workforce, food imports are not viable, which has an impact on the exponential increase in malnutrition, the breakdown of families is a reality, most schools are closed, academic failure and student dropout are rampant and crime is on the rise.

In health, Venezuela is entirely dependent on the import of medicines, which meanwhile, sanctions do not allow, hospitals have lost 70 percent of their medical personnel, only 20 percent of equipment works, maternal and neonatal mortality has reached unbearable levels, there are no vaccines and the country cannot even cope with the Covid 19 pandemic.

The report by Alena Douhan states that the basis of the sanctions against Venezuela, successively reissued since 2015 by the United States, does not meet the criteria of Article 4 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights on which they are based, adding that they violate sovereign rights of the country and prevent the Government from effectively exercising its obligations to guarantee the needs of the population.

And it is precisely to ensure that these needs are met that the Venezuelan Government has used supply programmes operated by servers such as Alex Saab, the UN Special Rapporteur stresses, adding that sanctions and judicial harassment, based on illegal extraterritoriality practiced by States, “violate the presumption of innocence” of these individuals, in addition to the fact that the charges against them “do not constitute, for the most part, international crimes” so “they are not subject to universal criminal jurisdiction”.

The Special Rapporteur emphasizes that applying U.S. extraterritorial jurisdiction to Venezuelan companies and compelling third states to comply with their dictates “is not justified under international law and increases the risks of causing adverse effects”, in addition to “violating the rights of agents of the Government of Venezuela to represent it on the basis of the principle of sovereign equality of States”.

It is on the basis of these arguments that Alena Douhan determines, in her report, “the Inadmissibility” of the application, by the United States, of sanctions and other extraterritorial measures, and asks that country to review such measures, namely, and, in the first place, the embargo on the international sale of Venezuelan oil, currently the country’s only source of revenue.


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