Venezuela Debuts ‘Geopolitical Map of Sanctions’ at United Nations in New York

The digital tool is meant to help researchers and the public track and document the growing use of unilateral measures on a global scale.
geopolitical map of sanctions
Delegations take part in the Launch of Geopolitical Map of Sanctions side event at the UN. (Observatorio Venezolano Antibloqueo)

Mexico City, Mexico, September 23, 2023 ( – Venezuela launched Thursday a digital tool dubbed the “Geopolitical Map of Sanctions” at the United Nations (UN) in New York as part of an effort to document and denounce the use of unilateral coercive measures.

Considered a “High-Level Side Event” during the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the debut of the “Geopolitical Map of Sanctions” counted on the attendance and interventions of representatives of various countries targeted by unilateral coercive measures, including Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran and Russia. 

The launch of the anti-sanctions instrument comes after President Nicolás Maduro called on the Group of 77 plus China at a recent summit to lead a campaign at the UN to end sanctions.

The presentation of the tool, developed by the Caracas-based Anti-Blockade Observatory, was led by Venezuela’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Samuel Moncada, who spoke out against the illegal imposition of sanctions by states.

“Unilateral coercive measures are weapons of economic policy, whose objective is the political control of weaker countries by powerful countries who control the world economic system,” said Moncada.

The Venezuelan ambassador was followed by Venezuela’s Deputy Minister of Anti-Blockade Policies William Castillo Bollé who highlighted the potential for the digital instrument to help researchers and the public track and document the growing use of unilateral measures on a global scale.

The event also included a presentation from Geneva from Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, who spoke of the humanitarian impact of sanctions, reiterated her criticisms of their growing use without the authorization of the UN Security Council, and called on countries to adhere to international law concerning sanctions.

Douhan highlighted the detrimental impact of unilateral sanctions and, in particular the challenge posed by overcompliance and the insufficient reach of so-called humanitarian exemptions. The UN rapporteur visited Venezuela in 2021 and produced an extensive report on the impact of sanctions on the Caribbean nation.

During his address, Vasily Nebenzya, the Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, likened the use of unilateral coercive measures to the emergence of chemical weapons in the 20th century, which had widespread use until their prohibition, saying that he was certain that eventually unilateral sanctions would come to be viewed the same way. 

The Permanent Representative of China to the UN Zhang Jun likewise praised the tool and signaled that unilateral coercive measures “violate the UN charter and international law” and “gravely undermines the basic human rights of people.”

Following the launch of the “Geopolitical Map of Sanctions” at the UN, members of Venezuela’s delegation held a separate event at the People’s Forum in New York City to build momentum aimed at ending the use of sanctions.

“We need decision makers in the United States to understand that sanctions are not a policy that you can implement under the belief that this is somehow more humane than fighting a war or promoting an invasion … It has similar effects to a conventional war,” Venezuelan Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for North America Carlos Ron said at the event.

“Diplomacy, dialogue, those are the ways countries should relate to each other even when there are differences, not subjecting whole populations to an aggression that constitutes a crime against humanity,” he concluded.

The UN event was held on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly where Venezuelan officials have likewise held numerous meetings with various foreign leaders and UN officials, including those from the UN Conference on Trade and Development and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Led by Foreign Minister Yván Gil, Venezuela also played host to the 4th Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends in Defense of the United Nations Charter at the headquarters of Venezuela’s Permanent Mission to the UN. 

In addition to bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Cambodia, Malawi, and Portugal; Gil likewise took part in a meeting of the Contact Group of Foreign Ministers of South America. He is scheduled to address the UNGA in the coming days as well.

The Venezuelan delegation’s active participation at the UN in New York served to further undermine efforts by the United States and its allies to diplomatically and politically isolate the Nicolás Maduro government. 

Edited by Ricardo Vaz in Caracas.