Venezuelan Supreme Court Rejects Latest Wave of Sanctions, UNASUR Follows Suit

The President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Gladys Gutiérrez, announced today that the highest judicial body in the country will issue a sentence rejecting the latest round of sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on Venezuela. UNASUR General Secretary, Ernesto Samper, also dencounced the sanctions as part of a "destabilization" effort against the Venezuelan government. 


Caracas, February 5, 2015 ( – The President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), Gladys Gutiérrez, announced today in a joint meeting with President of the  Republic, Nicolás Maduro, that the highest judicial body in the country will issue a sentence rejecting the latest round of sanctions imposed by the U.S. government on Venezuela. 

In his speech at the Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela, Maduro thanked the TSJ President and added;

“The high Court of the Republic is going to deliver an historic sentence on the sanctions law of the U.S. Congress, repudiating it, rejecting it, and they are going to head a mission of South American countries to denounce this imperialist law.”

The sanctions enacted by the State Department on February 2 represent a further deepening of the sanctions already imposed by the U.S. Congress in December, expanding the number of Venezuelan officials barred from entering the U.S. and extending this ban to immediate family members. 

One such official targeted by U.S. sanctions is Chief Prosecutor of the Republic Luisa Ortega Díaz, who is taking legal action against the U.S. State Department in response to the imposed travel ban. 

“With what moral standing does the United States invoke the violation of human rights… When they are the principal violators of human rights, Guantánamo is a monument to the violation of human rights,” the top prosecutor declared.

The government has stated that the sanctions against Venezuelan officials represent a double standard, as the U.S. government actively offers refuge to Venezuelan fugitives.

On January 19, President of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, denounced a meeting in Miami between opposition Mayor, David Smolansky, coordinator for the Popular Will party, Freddy Guevara, and Carlos Vecchio, who is wanted by Venezuelan courts for his role in the violent protests which took place during the first third of 2014, which left at least 43 people dead. 

Samper rejects “destabilization effort” in lead up to Unasur meeting on Venezuela 

UNASUR (Union of South American Nations) General Secretary, Ernesto Samper, visited Caracas today to meet with President Nicolás Maduro concerning the escalating economic war, U.S. sanctions and mediatic campaigns directed  against the Bolivarian government. Meeting in Miraflores, the UNASUR chief condemned in no uncertain terms what he called a “destabilization effort.”

“I want to publicly reiterate the position of UNASUR, which is in the Letter of the Constitution and has been endorsed in the Democratic Clause of the Treaty, is absolutely clear and conclusive in noting that any destabilization effort that takes place in a democracy or any attempt to destabilize a government will meet with the unanimous rejection by the countries of UNASUR,” Samper stated. 

Samper’s announcement comes on the eve of a special meeting of UNASUR foreign ministers headed by Ecuadorian foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, who holds the temporary presidency of the regional body. The foreign ministers will discuss the present crisis in Venezuela and ongoing destabilization efforts.     

For his part, the Ecuadorian foreign minister affirmed that it was “absolutely illegal for the U.S. to impose and activate new sanctions against officials of the Venezuelan government.”

“We cannot accept that [the U.S.] goes about improving its relationship with Cuba and hopefully ending the blockade that still hasn’t ended, only to begin new blockades against other countries, he added.”

Venezuela has petitioned both Samper and Rafael Correa, Pro-Tempore President of the regional body, to broker dialogue between the Maduro and Obama administrations. 

Maduro dismisses as “outrageous” statement by U.S. Intelligence Chief 

On Tuesday, Defense Intelligence Agency director Vincent Stuart issued a report before the Military Affairs Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives, warning that Venezuelan legislative elections later this year could be preceded by opposition mobilizations and government repression, potentially leading to “violence and human rights violations.”

President Maduro hit back during his speech at the Military Academy yesterday, calling the declaration on the part of Stuart “outrageous.”

“What does the the head of intelligence [of the U.S.] do? What he does is read the script of dirty war against Venezuela. There are those who still doubt that U.S. imperialism is present in everything that is done against Venezuela,” the Venezuelan head of state stated.