Venezuelan Opposition Backs US Sanctions amid International Condemnation

Venezuela’s right-wing opposition voiced support for US financial sanctions against Caracas Sunday as a number of countries issued statements rejecting the Trump administration’s latest move. 

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National Assembly President Julio Borges meets with US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster on May 6, 2017. (Archive)
National Assembly President Julio Borges meets with US National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster on May 6, 2017. (Archive)
By Lucas Koerner
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Caracas, August 29, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s right-wing opposition voiced support for US financial sanctions against Caracas Sunday as a number of countries issued statements rejecting the Trump administration’s latest move. 

In an official statement published on its Twitter account, the main opposition coalition, the MUD, welcomed the executive order signed by President Trump this past Friday, which bars US banks from new dealings with the Venezuelan state and the country’s national oil company PDVSA.

“Sanctions against those who are vagrants, human rights violators, and looters of public resources will always have our support, in the absence of impartial justice in Venezuela,” the communiqué read. 

The right-wing coalition likewise called for the boycott actions against Venezuela to be broadened beyond the United States to the entire “international community”. 

“We request all of the international community to warn their respective citizens and companies that they must abstain from carrying out financial operations or contracts of national interest with the Venezuelan government that violate the national constitution for not being approved by… the National Assembly.”

Venezuela’s opposition-held National Assembly (AN), which has been in contempt of court since July 2016 over its failure to unseat three legislators accused of voter fraud, has repeatedly lobbied for sanctions against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. 

This past April, it was revealed that AN President Julio Borges sent over a dozen letters to major international banks urging them to cut ties with Caracas in a bid to deny the cash-strapped Venezuelan government new sources of financing. 

The sanctions come two weeks after President Trump warned that that his administration was considering a “possible military option” against Venezuela.

“We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option, if necessary,” the US head of state said on August 11. 

Since 2014, the US government has imposed four rounds of sanctions against top Venezuelan government officials, including most recently President Nicolas Maduro himself.

However, Friday’s sanctions mark the first time that Washington has directly targeted the Venezuelan economy.

The move sparked international condemnation, with a number of countries issuing statements blasting the Trump administration.

“We categorically reject unilateral sanctions against sovereign States. The financial pressure on Venezuela is clearly oriented to destabilizing that country and worsen its economic problems,” declared Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.

Beijing likewise manifested its opposition to US intervention, affirming that Venezuela’s current political standoff “should be resolved by the Venezuelan government and people themselves”.

“The experience of history shows that outside interference or unilateral sanctions will make the situation even more complicated and will not help resolve the actual problem,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said during a daily briefing on Monday.

A number of close Venezuelan regional allies, including Cuba, Bolivia, and Nicaragua, also rejected the new measure by Washington.

“As the military intervention plan failed, the US executes a financial coup against Venezuela,” tweeted Bolivian President Evo Morales. 

Venezuela, for its part, has lambasted the sanctions as “the worst aggression towards Venezuela in the last 200 years” and has vowed to respond in the coming days.

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