UN rights chief bemoans unilateral sanctions on Venezuela, fearing ‘far-reaching implications’

A new set of unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States on Venezuela this week prompted the concern of the United Nations’ top rights official on Thursday, who said in a statement that she feared they would have a “potentially severe impact” on the human rights of the South American nation’s “long-suffering” people.

Tensions started escalating at the end of January, when Juan Guaidó, head of the country’s National Assembly, challenged the legitimacy of sitting President Nicolás Maduro and was declared interim president by the National Assembly. President Maduro has been in power since 2013 and was sworn in again for a second term on 10 January.

“The sanctions are extremely broad and fail to contain sufficient measures to mitigate their impact on the most vulnerable sectors of the population”, said Michelle Bachelet, High Commissioner for Human Rights. “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”.

According to official figures, between 2013 and 2018, Venezuela’s economy has contracted by 47.6 per cent.

With the new sanctions further restricting economic activity, Ms. Bachelet expressed concern that “businesses and financial institutions are likely to err on the side of caution and completely halt transactions” with Venezuela, rather than risk punishment for violating the sanctions.

“As I have stressed before, the roots of the economic crisis in Venezuela predate the imposition of any economic sanctions”, the High Commission reiterated. “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”.

She acknowledged that while technically, the latest sanctions do not apply to transactions on food, clothing or medicine intended to be used to relieve human suffering, “they are still likely to significantly exacerbate the crisis for millions of ordinary Venezuelans”, citing “over-compliance by financial institutions” globally that have commercial relations with the US and Venezuela.

“There is a significant body of evidence showing that wide-ranging unilateral sanctions can end up denying people’s fundamental human rights, including their economic rights as well as the rights to food and health, and could place obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian assistance”, she spelled out. “Even carefully targeted sanctions must be subject to stringent human rights safeguards”.

In closing Ms. Bachelet called on all those with influence in Venezuela and 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.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

UN chief calls for ‘solidarity, compassion and action’ on World Refugee Day

Here’s how to check in on your AI system, as COVID-19 plays havoc

Amid ‘unprecedented combination’ of epidemics, UN and partners begin cholera vaccination campaign in DR Congo

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

How debt for climate swaps could spur a green recovery

5 steps to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Rise in Caribbean children displaced by storms shows climate crisis is a child rights issue: UNICEF

New rules for audiovisual media services approved by Parliament

Making the most of our ‘extra time’ – for ourselves and society

MEPs call on Russia to stop illegitimate prosecution of Lithuanian judges

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

Four million have now fled Venezuela, UN ramps up aid to children who remain

UN highlights importance of skills development on World Youth Skills Day

China and the EU agree to protect each other’s food and drink specialities

One-sixth of the world’s economy has now pledged to cut CO2 to zero by 2050

What is an immunity passport and could it work?

The benefits of a cashless society

Innovative urban financing can make our cities stronger

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

How to prevent a suicide?

Parliament adopts deal to improve quality of tap water and reduce plastic litter

What we can learn from Asia’s courts of the future

Somalia advancing towards ‘inclusive and peaceful future’ for women, deputy UN chief

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and ending HIV, one single goal

The third bailout agreement for Greece is a done deal amid European economies full of problems

How our global battle against coronavirus could help us fight climate change

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Outbreak of COVID-19: The third wave and the people

How can we ensure energy is clean, secure and affordable?

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

Innovations in reusable packaging need a playbook. Here’s why

Why cybersecurity should be standard due diligence for investors

State aid: Commission approves Danish support for Thor offshore wind farm project

Investment Plan for Europe: European Investment Bank to provide BioNTech with up to €100 million in debt financing for COVID-19 vaccine development and manufacturing

Commission takes further action to ensure professionals can fully benefit from the Single Market

Theresa May in search of a magic plan to invoke Article 50 and start Brexit negotiations now

Austerity ends in Eurozone, Germany is isolated

Do not take the EP’s consent on MFF for granted, says Budget Committee Chair

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

New UN data tool shows ‘mismatch’ between government aid and places modern slavery exists

Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

We need to change the fast fashion model. Here’s how

Coronavirus response: Commission welcomes agreement on crucial VAT relief for vaccines and testing kits

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

Africa must use tech to chase corruption out of the shadows

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

More than 30 years of US trade with China, in one chart

Myanmar companies bankroll ‘brutal operations’ of military, independent UN experts claim in new report

Deadly violence at Israel-Gaza border escalates dangerously: UN chief condemns in strongest terms

What has a year of experiments taught us about basic income?

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Eurozone needs more than some decimals of growth

UN Chief says ending poverty ‘a question of justice’ on International Day

FROM THE FIELD: Urban Mexico moves toward better livelihoods, cleaner cities

The Sting’s Values

Impacting society with digital ingenuity – World Summit Award proclaiming the top 8 worldwide

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s