United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle (UNHCHR) Bachelet issued a statement today on the latest sanctions against the Venezuelan government from the United States, which were implemented this past Monday. The sanctions are the harshest yet against the Maduro regime, seizing all government assets in the U.S., and banning all U.S. entities from conducting business with Caracas.
In a statement posted on the UNHCHR website, Bachelet said that she was “deeply worried” about the possibility that the sanctions will have a “severe impact” on ordinary Venezuelans. In her statement, Bachelet says:
The sanctions are extremely broad and fail to contain sufficient measures to mitigate their impact on the most vulnerable sectors of the population. I fear that they will have far-reaching implications on the rights to health and to food in particular, in a country where there are already serious shortages of essential goods.
For Bachelet, these sanctions have the potential to “further [restrict] economic activity”, a fact that she fears may result in foreign businesses and financial institutions stopping all transactions with the country.
Bachelet goes on to say:
As I have stressed before, the roots of the economic crisis in Venezuela predate the imposition of any economic sanctions. But the economic sanctions imposed in August 2017 and in January 2019 have exacerbated the effects of this dire crisis – and by extension the humanitarian situation – given that most of the foreign exchange earnings derive from oil exports, many of which are linked to the US market.
The high commissioner also references the “significant body of evidence” demonstrating that the sanctions implemented by Washington against the Maduro regime “can end up denying people’s fundamental human rights, including… the rights to food and health”, and issues this call:
I call on all those with influence in Venezuela and in the international community to work together constructively for a political solution to the protracted crisis in the country, by putting the interests and human rights of the long-suffering people of Venezuela above all else.
Supreme Court Will “Severely Punish” Anyone Who “Tries to Support” Sanctions
The Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), Venezuela’s top court, issued a statement today warning citizens against supporting the recently-imposed sanctions on the country. In a statement, the TSJ said that it would “severely punish any attempt to support” the sanctions, which it claims were “aimed at limiting basic necessities” in the country.
On the sanctions, the TSJ statement reads:
These kinds of actions [the sanctions] by the interventionist and genocidal government of the United States should be exposed to the international community as an attempt to damage the political will of a people and their human rights.
The TSJ statement does not make clear exactly what kind of punishment it is willing to hand out, or what would qualify as supporting the sanctions.
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